This document is part of an archive of postings by John Ray on Dissecting Leftism, a blog hosted by Blogspot who are in turn owned by Google. The index to the archive is available here or here. Indexes to my other blogs can be located here or here. Archives do accompany my original postings but, given the animus towards conservative writing on Google and other internet institutions, their permanence is uncertain. These alternative archives help ensure a more permanent record of what I have written.

This is a backup copy of the original blog

Below is the backup of this blog for February, 2023. To access the backups in earlier years, click here

28 February, 2023

U.S. senators are calling for President Joe Biden’s administration to declassify materials regarding the origins of COVID-19

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) wrote on Twitter that documents described in a Wall Street Journal report “should be declassified.”

“President Biden needs to declassify everything we know today,” Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) added.

According to the report, the U.S. Energy Department is assessing that the pandemic likely started from a Wuhan laboratory leak.

The assessment was described in a document authored by the office of Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, a Biden appointee, the Journal reported.

The Energy Department, the White House, and Haines’s office didn’t respond to requests for comment.

The Energy Department told news outlets in a statement that it “continues to support the thorough, careful, and objective work of our intelligence professionals in investigating the origins of COVID-19, as the President directed.”

Biden in 2021 said he had asked the intelligence community “to redouble their efforts to collect and analyze information that could bring us closer to a definitive conclusion” on the origins of COVID-19.

In an assessment (pdf) declassified later that year, the intelligence community, which Haines oversees, was split as to the origins of COVID-19.

Four intelligence community elements assessed with low confidence that COVID-19 came from animals, while one element stated that the pandemic likely started with “a laboratory-associated incident” at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, according to the declassified report.

Three other elements “remain unable to coalesce around either explanation,” the report stated. “All agencies assess that two hypotheses are plausible: natural exposure to an infected animal and a laboratory-associated incident.”

The individual elements weren’t identified.

Intelligence community entities include the FBI, the Energy Department, and the CIA.

The State Department has assessed, in a document (pdf) made public in 2022, that a lab leak was the most likely origin of COVID-19.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) on Feb. 26 said he would introduce legislation that would make all U.S. intelligence reports on COVID-19 “open to the people.”

No Animal Host Found

The first COVID-19 cases were detected in Wuhan, China, in late 2019. The United States has funded experiments at the Wuhan lab there.

No animal host for the virus that causes COVID-19 has been identified to date. Chinese Communist Party officials have repeatedly rebuffed attempts to probe the origins of the pandemic and have made various unsubstantiated claims, including that the illness stemmed from U.S. experiments.

The new reporting, top Republicans said, bolsters the position that the virus originated in the lab.

“This report affirms our belief that the substantial circumstantial evidence favors COVID-19 emerging from a research-related incident,” Rep. Cathy Rodgers (R-Wash.), who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Reps. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) and Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.), members of the panel, said in a joint statement.

“These revelations also further strengthen the need to uncover why high-ranking government officials, with help from Big Tech and the media, sought early on to silence any debate into a plausible theory of a lab incident while the Chinese Communist Party stonewalled investigations by the global scientific community,” they added.

Dr. Anthony Fauci and other top government officials worked to suppress talk of a possible lab leak.

Sullivan Responds

Asked about the new report, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on CNN on Feb. 26 that “there is a variety of views in the intelligence community.”

Sullivan said he wouldn’t confirm or deny the Journal’s reporting but confirmed that Biden had asked that the department “be brought into this assessment because he wants to put every tool at use to be able to figure out what happened here.”

“If we gain any further insight or information, we will share it with Congress and we will share it with the American people. But, right now, there is not a definitive answer that has emerged from the intelligence community on this question,” he added.

Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) said on NBC on Feb. 26 that public hearings need to be held on the matter.

“I think we need to have public hearings on this and really dig into it,” he said. “Think about what just happened over the last three years: one of the biggest pandemics in a century. A lot of evidence that it’s coming from the Chinese, and when other countries even raise it, like Australia, the Chinese use their coercive economic activities to shut people up. So I think we need to do extensive hearings.”

The Republican-held House has launched probes of COVID-19, including the pandemic origins and COVID-19 vaccines.

Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio), who chairs the new House Oversight Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, told The Epoch Times’ sister media outlet NTD Television that investigating the origins is important.

“Specifically to the origins, we feel it’s important to understand the evolution of [it] … and the more we know—whether it’s lab or natural—the more we know about it, the greater ability we would have to protect ourselves in the future,” he said.

The House Oversight Committee told outlets that intelligence officials responded to a Feb. 13 letter from Wenstrup and Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) asking for information about the COVID-19 origins. The panel said that it “is reviewing the classified information provided.”


Censorship, PC agendas block fact-checking on Covid-19’s origins

Censorship and political posturing in the US has irreparably damaged our understanding of how the Covid-19 pandemic began.

Social media giants expunged content querying whether the virus escaped from a Wuhan laboratory.

Distinguished medical journals refused to publish scientific papers that examined whether the SARS-Cov2 virus may be a man-manipulated construct.

And purportedly trusted media outlets, such as the ABC in Australia, labelled the suggestion that a Wuhan laboratory might be responsible for the outbreak a conspiracy theory.

They did so as early as May 2020, misleading viewers, discouraging scientific debate and hosing down journalistic inquiry.

Media Watch host Paul Barry ridiculed our reporting at News Corp on the gain-of-function experiments scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were undertaking prior to the pandemic. “So, how likely is it that the virus escaped from that Chinese lab? Well, in short, it’s not,” he said authoritatively, on-air.

Yet now two US intelligence agencies have concluded that Covid-19 most likely leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. They are the FBI and the Department of Energy.

Another two agencies, including the CIA, are undecided while four say it’s more likely that the virus arose naturally.

None of these agencies has a high degree of confidence in their position.

As the President’s National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan, told CNN on Sunday the intelligence community was divided on the question of how the pandemic began.

We might be able to answer this question with more confidence had censorship and political correctness not stymied research on this topic three years ago.

It’s stunning to think there has still not been a thorough, bipartisan investigation in the style of the 9/11 Commission, which interviewed over 1200 people in 10 countries, reviewing half a million pages of documents.

This is an action US President Joe Biden could take immediately which could help us come to a definitive view about how the pandemic began.

The National Institutes of Health, which funded coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, is still refusing to hand over documents. It is going to court rather than disclose information that could implicate it further in the dangerous research that was underway in Wuhan.

It’s nonsense to say there is no evidence to suggest the virus leaked from a laboratory.

The evidence is not definitive, it is not conclusive, but it is overwhelming.

Consider the research Wuhan scientists were undertaking to make bat coronaviruses more lethal and more transmissible, the concerns over safety protocols held by its own laboratory director, the cover-up at the laboratory itself in November 2019 and the way the CCP reacted when the virus began to spread.

There’s certainly more evidence linking the Wuhan Institute of Virology to the start of Covid-19 than there is evidence to support the theory that the most infectious virus in a century simply arose naturally.


27 February, 2023

There's NOT enough data to support multiple annual Covid vaccines, CDC advisers say

A leading Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expert panel says people with weakened immune systems do not need more than one annual Covid booster.

The Advisory Committee For Immunization Practices (ACIP) said Friday that there is no reason for the elderly or immunocompromised to receive multiple shots in one year.

This goes against current CDC guidance, which recommends people most vulnerable to the virus to receive shots more often than once a year.

They did recommend the group who are most at risk from the virus receive a dose each fall, just before the winter season where the virus generally surges.

It is yet another setback for America's leading public health agencies, whose trust from the public has fallen dramatically during the Covid pandemic.

In the spring of 2022, the CDC recommended immunocompromised and people over age 50 receive an additional shot if they had received their first booster at least four months earlier.

The CDC advisers did not vote on new recommendations for how the COVID-19 shots should be administered on Friday.

But ACIP advised showing flexibility in recommendations for those with compromised or weakened immune systems to allow more frequent doses for those most vulnerable to severe COVID.

Both the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are working on how to best update COVID vaccines to target circulating variants annually, similar to flu vaccine campaigns.

About 53.3million people in the United States - around 16 percent of the US population - have received a Covid booster shot since updated versions of the vaccines were authorized in September.

That compares with 230million people, around 70 percent of the population, that received an initial two-dose series of the Covid vaccines.

The CDC's guidance being shunned by its own panel of experts is another setback for the beleaguered agency.

A report in January led by Julie Gerberding, who served as the CDC's director from 2002 to 2009, said the agency needed a reset and was not fit for purpose.

'The big picture here is, we all see the need for a reset of the agency,' Julie Gerberding, who served at the CDC's director from 2002 to 2009 and now a CSIS member, told CNN.

'Some of the reset has to be structural, some of it needs to be activity that only Congress can really manage and that has to do with how the budget is structured, the size and scope of the budget and the flexibilities or lack thereof.'

Report: CDC is not fit for purpose, has lost public's trust and needs a complete overhaul

The embattled agency has faced a rocky few years marred by repeated troubles during the Covid pandemic.

Another hindrance the agency faces, according to the report is that it is based in Atlanta, more than 500 miles from the Nation's Capital.

While communication is simplified in the digital age, experts fear the proximity of CDC from the federal government hub adds unnecessary barriers.

An NBC poll last year found that only 44 percent of Americans, and just one-in-five Republicans - trusted the agency on Covid.

Many lost trust in the agency because of its support for school closures, letting mask orders on public transportation last too long, and for its slow reaction to changes in the pandemic landscape.

This is the second major call for an overhaul of America's leading public health agency.

In August, Dr Rochelle Walensky, director of the agency, internally told her staff the agency must focus more on public health issues and less on the publishing of research.

She had taken her post in early 2021, mid-way through the pandemic.

Experts said the CDC was slow to recognize how much virus was entering the US from Europe, to recommend people wear masks, to say the virus can spread through the air, and to ramp up systematic testing for new variants.

The decision resulted from a review Walensky ordered in April after the CDC faced heavy criticism for its mixed messaging on the Covid pandemic.

The agency gave muddled and confusing recommendations on masking and other mitigation efforts.

The guidance during the pandemic has been 'confusing and overwhelming,' according to the CDC briefing document provided by the agency to the New York Times.

The review also found that the CDC often takes too long to publish data people needed to make decisions and that the agency should be more transparent about what it does and doesn't know, a CDC official told the Wall Street Journal.

There were staff shortages too with those tasked with leading the CDC's covid team rotating out after a few months.


Xylitol Nasal Spray Prevents SARS-CoV-2 Infection

Peter A. McCullough, MD, MPH

The sophisticated American consumer has grown accustomed to the gold-standard for drug and health products—the prospective randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial (RCT).

Operation Warp Speed (OWS) was supposed to be a churning mill of large RCT’s to help the nation understand what conclusively is effective in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.

Unfortunately, after three years, has delivered failed products (remdesivir, baricitinib, molnupiravir, COVID-19 vaccines) and small inconclusive trials of products that doctors have found effective in practice including off-target generic antivirals and anticoagulants.

OWS did not test simple, affordable, available prevention strategies. Fortunately such RCTs where done outside of the US and have brought us important findings.

Balmforth et al, conducted a prospective double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of a xylitol based nasal spray in the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection in exposed healthcare workers in two hospitals in Uttar Pradesh, India.

Xylitol is known to have anti-infective and anti-inflammatory properties and is used in XLEAR nasal spray and anti-infective chewing gum to prevent dental caries.

Balmforth found that SARS-CoV-2 infection confirmed by serology was 71 percent lower with xylitol compared to placebo [36 cases (13.1 percent) Vs 97 cases (34.5 percent); odds ratio [OR] 0.29 (95 percent CI; 0.18–0.45), p < 0.0001].

Fewer clinical symptoms were also seen in the test group [57 cases (17.6 percent) vs 112 cases (34.6 percent); OR 0.40, (95 percent CI; 0.27–0.59), p < 0.0001]. No harmful effects were associated with xylitol.

A smaller study of xylitol nasal spray in mild COVID-19 cases demonstrated that persistent loss of smell may be eliminated with xylitol nasal spray during the acute congestion phase.

I have been impressed with the RCTs of topical nasal sprays and gargles in COVID-19 far more than those with oral or intravenous drugs.

Xylitol available as XLEAR in US pharmacies is one of several choices for local nasopharyngeal protection and treatment of COVID-19.


Republicans React to Energy Department’s Reported Finding That COVID ‘Likely’ Leaked From Wuhan Lab

Republican lawmakers responded to a news report saying that the U.S. Energy Department had concluded the lab leak theory was “likely,” saying that the finding supports what many have long suspected.

A Wall Street Journal article on Feb. 26 reported that a classified intelligence report by the Energy Department said that the virus likely leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

“So the government caught up to what Real America knew all along,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) wrote in a Twitter post on Sunday.

The responses came as GOP lawmakers ramp up investigations into the origin of COVID-19 and allegations of government-big tech censorship of the debate.

The Energy Department was previously undecided on the issue but now joins the FBI in corroborating the lab leak hypothesis, according to the report. Several people who have read the report said the Department’s judgment was made with “low confidence,” the Journal reported.

Responding to the report on Sunday, White House national security advisor Jake Sullivan told CNN that the intelligence community does not have a “definitive answer” on the matter at this point.

Republican lawmakers have been vocal about the theory that the virus leaked from the Wuhan laboratory soon after the onset of the pandemic in 2020. Initially, some health professionals and legacy media outlets dismissed the theory, labeling the theory’s proponents as racist and conspiracy theorists.


Some lawmakers also accused Anthony Fauci, former head of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), of colluding with big tech companies, such as Facebook and Twitter, and censoring stories about the lab leak theory via what these companies describe as a crackdown on “misinformation.”

“Fauci knew this immediately but dismissed it because of funding for the Wuhan lab,” Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.) wrote in another post. “We know what happened next — when Fauci spoke Big Tech censored. I exposed this collusion as AG and I’ll work to ensure this type of censorship never happens again.”

“Americans knew this from Day One,” Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) wrote on Twitter on Sunday. “Unfortunately, Big Tech and Big Government silenced them.”

Republicans and critics of Fauci have raised concerns about the NIAID’s funding of the Wuhan Institute of Virology via the non-governmental organization EcoHealth Alliance, including for research described by experts as gain-of-function. The NIAID issued about 3.4 million in grants to EcoHealth.

Gain-of-function research makes the virus more deadly by enhancing its pathogenicity, its ability to cause disease and harm the host, or transmissibility, how easily it spreads.

The NIH has denied that the grants were for gain-of-function research, while Fauci has defended the decision to issue the grants to EcoHealth.

“More evidence continues to mount that COVID came from the Wuhan lab. We’ve uncovered emails showing Dr. Fauci was warned that the virus looked man-made & came from a lab, but he may have acted to cover it up. Why? We need answers & accountability,” wrote the official Twitter account of the House Oversight Republican Committee.

Republicans on the committee previously disclosed internal NIH emails that showed Fauci was informed by senior scientists early in the pandemic that the theory that COVID-19 had a natural origin was “highly unlikely,” even while Fauci was publicly promoting the natural origin theory.


26 February, 2023

Finally a vaccine to banish Covid for good? Nasal spray reduces risk of infection 86% — nearly DOUBLE protection given by shot in arm

A nasal vaccine that could finally curb Covid infections is one step closer to a reality after promising early trial results.

The inhaled vaccine, made by researchers in Georgia, successfully reduced the risk of symptomatic Covid infections by 86 percent for three months in people who received it as a booster - almost double the protection the mRNA boosters provide.

While still in early stages, it is an exciting development that could prove more effective than the booster doses administered as injections.

The nasal, or ‘mucosal’ vaccines are appealing for their ability to prime immune cells in the mucous membranes that line the nostril cavities and the mouth where the coronavirus first enters the body, and stop the virus in its tracks.

Nasal vaccines such as the one currently in development at Georgia-based startup Blue Lake Biotechnology Inc. concentrate the immune protection in the upper airways, positioning powerful antibodies right on the frontlines.

In their phase 1 trial starting in August 2021, researchers at Blue Lake Biotechnology included 72 participants ages 18 to 55 who had already received two doses of an mRNA vaccine as well as unvaccinated healthy people. They plan to expand the sample size and will continue recruiting subjects through December.

The vaccine technology relies on a type of parainfluenza virus that has been encoded with Covid’s trademark spike protein to train the immune system to recognize and fight it off.

Once the vaccine contents are inhaled, little bits of the parainfluenza virus replicate inside the nasal cavity to such an extent that it triggers an immune response without actually getting the person sick.

Dr Biao He, founder and CEO of Blue Lake Biotechnology said: ‘We were pleasantly surprised to see indications of a protective effect in this Phase 1 trial.’

‘We are excited and encouraged with this result, and through our affiliate, CyanVac LLC, we have submitted a protocol to FDA for a randomized controlled phase 2 trial in which we look forward to more fully evaluating the immunogenicity of the vaccine and to better understanding its protective efficacy.’

The immune response launched by the nasal spray vaccine could potentially be significantly more robust than a vaccine administered via syringe.

In addition to prompting a strong immune response, nasal vaccine technology could ease pressure on health professionals giving vaccine injections, cut medical waste and provide better vaccine access to developing countries.

Booster shots currently in use across the US have been shown to reduce symptomatic infections by 43 percent in people 65 and younger over roughly the same amount of time that the spray is able to confer 86 percent protection.

People in the trials who received the nasal spray experienced fewer adverse reactions than those who received the injectable vaccine.

Nasal spray vaccines will appear to many a less invasive means of gaining protection against severe illness, potentially attracting the needle-phobic vaccine holdouts.

The finished product is still a ways off and this is the type of next generation Covid vaccines that public health officials have said are urgently needed in the event that a new variant that is able to circumvent vaccine protection arises.

Dr Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research within the Food and Drug Administration and fellow experts at Brown University said late last year: ‘Introduction of these bivalent boosters likely only represents a temporizing measure until variants emerge that necessitate additional booster vaccination or modification of the current generation of vaccines.

‘Serious consideration therefore needs to be given to the development of a distinctly improved generation of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines offering longer protection with greater scope.’


Protection From New COVID-19 Vaccines Drops Sharply Within Months: CDC

The new COVID-19 vaccines provide a boost to protection against hospitalization but that shielding wanes within months, according to unpublished data presented on Feb. 24.

A bivalent Pfizer or Moderna booster increased protection against hospitalization initially by 52 percent, but that protection dropped to 36 percent beyond 59 days, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) researchers said.

The researchers separately looked at the protection people who had received two or more monovalent doses, or doses of the original vaccines, and no bivalent booster. They found that people aged 18 to 64 had just 19 percent protection against COVID-19 associated hospitalization and those aged 65 and older had just 28 percent protection.

That means the protection after two months was around 60 percent in total for the elderly and goes below 50 percent for all other adults.

The data came from the CDC’s VISION network. Data from a different CDC-run network, called IVY, showed “minimal to no residual protection” against hospitalization from the original vaccine, Dr. Amadea Britton, a CDC official, said. Two or more monovalent doses provided just 17 percent protection, with uncertain confidence intervals.

A bivalent vaccine on top of a monovalent primary series brought the protection to just 55 percent at seven or more days after the booster.

Waning wasn’t measured in the IVY network.

The bivalent vaccines were authorized and recommended in the fall of 2022 despite no clinical trial data being available. Clinical efficacy data remains unavailable at present.

The COVID-19 vaccines are authorized in the United States to prevent COVID-19 disease but officials have increasingly described the goal of vaccination as preventing severe disease, because the vaccines have performed worse and worse against symptomatic infection as newer variants have emerged.

The effectiveness against severe disease may be higher than against hospitalization, according to Britton.

A third CDC network, Increasing Community Access to Testing, found that a new booster initially provided 65 percent protection against symptomatic infection for children aged 5 to 11, and 68 percent protection for children aged 12 to 17.

That protection waned to 54 percent by three months in the younger group and 53 percent by five months in the older group.

A bivalent booster worked much worse in adults, according to other unpublished data from the network presented for the first time during the meeting.

A bivalent increased protection against symptomatic infection by just 38 percent in the elderly, with protection dropping to 21 percent by five months. In people aged 50 to 64, protection started at 46 percent and waned to 28 percent; among adults aged 18 to 49, protection started at 51 percent and waned to 41 percent.

The protection estimates were relative, being measured against two to four doses of an original vaccine. Previous research has found that the original vaccine provides little protection against symptomatic Omicron infection, with some estimating the protection turning negative over time.

“The pattern of waning against symptomatic infection is very similar to what was observed after monovalent booster doses, with VE against symptomatic infection decreasing to minimal protection by around five to six months,” Britton said.

Change in Vaccine

The updated Pfizer and Moderna vaccines target the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of Omicron, in addition to the Wuhan strain. The original vaccines were aimed at only the latter. The updated vaccines are only available currently as booster shots.

U.S. authorities are preparing to replace all of the original Pfizer and Moderna vaccines with the bivalent. Advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration backed the move in a recent meeting, and advisers to the CDC on Thursday largely agreed the move would be good.

They cited the improvement in protection the bivalents bestow, however minimal, and the hope that simplifying the vaccines would lead to more uptake.

Many Americans have declined to get any boosters, and even fewer have received one of the new bivalents. The overwhelming majority of parents have chosen not to get their children even a primary series, amid the drop in effectiveness and growing concerns about short- and long-term side effects like heart inflammation.


New Study Finds ‘No Evidence’ That City-Wide Vaccine Mandates Impacted the Spread of COVID-19

During the pandemic, a slew of left-wing cities established vaccine mandates that required employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Those who did not comply faced suspension and termination from their jobs. Many cities took this a step further and mandated all businesses to require patrons to present their vaccine papers in order to enter the business.

This week, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University unveiled a new study,“Indoor Vaccine Mandates in US Cities, Vaccination Behavior, and COVID-19 Outcomes.” The study questioned the efficacy of vaccine mandates in cities that implemented such mandates to visit indoor businesses, which included Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.

“City vaccine mandates were arguably among the most restrictive and polarizing regulations ever enacted in the United States,” the study write-up said. “Millions of people were prevented from entering restaurants, bars, gyms, theaters, sports arenas, and other public indoor areas without proof of COVID-19 vaccination. The mandates negatively affected unvaccinated individuals and businesses that were not allowed to serve unvaccinated customers.”

The write-up noted that supporters of the mandates said that it would uptick vaccination rates that the spread of COVID-19 would decrease. But, the study shows that this did not happen.

“We find no evidence that the announcement or implementation of indoor vaccine mandate in the cities listed had any significant effect on vaccine uptake, COVID-19 cases, or COVID-19 deaths, and this is largely consistent for all US cities that implemented the mandate,” the study stated.

In New York City, specifically, more than 90 percent of restaurants reported having “customer-related” challenges over the vaccine mandate. And, over 1,400 city workers were fired for refusing to get vaccinated.

"COVID cases were not affected by the mandate, COVID deaths were not affected by it, and people were not more likely to get vaccinated at all in the first place," Vitor Melo, a postdoctoral fellow at the Mercatus Center and one of the authors of the study told Fox 5 DC.

"The idea behind the mandate is more people are gonna get vaccinated, therefore we’re gonna reduce the spread of COVID," Melo added. "That first step really didn’t happen."

One of the reasons why, Melo explained, is because people would travel to neighboring areas without vaccine mandates to go out to eat, etc. In the Washington, D.C. area, for example, people would go out to Arlington, Virginia.

The study pointed out that studies detailing country-wide mandates, like in Europe, were effective and resulted in more people getting a dose of the vaccine. City-wide mandates in America did not have this effect.

“The authors find that city-level mandates had smaller effect on vaccine uptake (and consequently on COVID-19 cases and deaths) than nationwide mandates— and thus failed to achieve their intended objectives,” it concluded.


24 February, 2023

F is for Fauci’s failed vaccines

The ‘worst possible thing you could do is vaccinate someone and make them worse,’ said Dr Anthony Fauci on March 26, 2020. He was talking about vaccine associated enhanced disease (VAED), the nightmare scenario where a vaccine not only fails to prevent infection, it causes a more serious illness in a vaccinated person than one who is unvaccinated.

To prevent just such a catastrophe, a global, non-profit vaccine safety research network was created in 2000 called the Brighton Collaboration (BC). Its task is to develop vaccine safety protocols to monitor whether new vaccines were protecting people or making them sicker than unvaccinated people. In 2020, BC experts published a peer-reviewed paper defining vaccine enhanced disease in relation to Covid vaccines.

The BC is no anti-vaxxer organisation. It is funded by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation whose single largest private donor is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

But the BC experts state bluntly that any Covid infection in a vaccinated person after the normal time it takes to develop immunity is a ‘vaccine failure’ and that, ‘All cases of vaccine failure should be investigated for VAED’, that is, vaccine enhanced disease.

In simple terms this means that every time a vaccinated person gets Covid, their infection should be investigated to see if it is more severe or more frequent than a Covid infection in an unvaccinated person with equivalent health status, especially if they are hospitalised, go into ICU or die.

NSW data over the last six months shows that the rate of Covid cases, hospitalisation and care in an ICU ward all increase exponentially with each additional dose. The rate of Covid deaths are also 1.2 times higher in the vaccinated than the unvaccinated. Yet, public health officials have just announced that a fifth vaccine will now be available for all. It doesn’t make sense. But it has taken a young GP from the Whitsunday Islands, Dr Melissa McCann, to reveal the disturbing safety signals that public health officials are ignoring.

McCann was vaccinated like most doctors but she started to notice an alarming increase in adverse events in her practice as the vaccine was rolled out. She audited the cases and examined the database of adverse events collated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and found a dramatic increase in strokes, heart attacks and neurological disorders compared with previous years.

McCann knew that in 2010, Western Australia halted and then suspended the rollout of the childhood flu vaccine after an increase in the proportional reporting ratio (PRR) of febrile convulsions from one to two.

On 1 November, 2021 she wrote to the federal health minister and TGA detailing her findings and requesting an immediate suspension of the vaccination program. Nothing happened.

But McCann didn’t give up. Through Freedom of Information (FOI) disclosures, she discovered that the TGA was ignoring an increase of ratios for many serious adverse events including an increase of over 20 for myocarditis and over 50 for pulmonary infarction – when a clot blocks an artery to the lung causing part of it to die.

These were not the only alarm bells ringing. The increase strongly coincided with the vaccine rollout and there was mounting evidence in hundreds of published medical reports that the vaccine could cause precisely the adverse events that were occurring.

In March last year, McCann and 14 other doctors wrote again to the federal health minister and the TGA requesting an immediate suspension of the vaccine program and a review of safety issues including risks due to microRNA sequences in the vaccines which potentially cause cancer, the unknown metabolism of the lipid nanoparticles that deliver the mRNA into the cells which is highly inflammatory, stays in the body for an unknown period of time, can cross the blood brain barrier invading neurological tissues, and penetrate cells in the ovaries and the testes. The TGA again dismissed the doctors concerns.

So McCann soldiered on with an arduous FOI process uncovering three cases where a 7-year-old boy, a 9-year-old girl and a young woman of 24 had each died of cardiac arrest after a Pfizer vaccine. In these cases the ‘Decision’ recorded was ‘causality’ or ‘causality assessment outcome’ as opposed to ‘causality unlikely’ or ‘causality?’ which appeared on other records.

The TGA claims that ‘causality’ on these reports means a ‘clear decision on causality could not be made for these cases at the point in time that the document was released’. Yet, the TGA failed to make the reports public on its FOI disclosure log as it is obliged to do. When McCann asked why, the TGA wrote that the reports ‘contain sensitive personal information about deceased person’ and ‘disclosure of the documents could undermine public confidence and reduce the willingness of the public to report adverse events to the TGA’. This seems highly unlikely especially since there is no information about the deceased other than their age.

McCann then made a submission to the House of Representatives’ ‘Inquiry into Long COVID and Repeated COVID Infections’ which pointed out that what people call ‘long Covid’ is mostly ‘vaccine failure’ resulting in severe disease, probably enhanced by the vaccine. Mysteriously, her submission, unlike the 546 others, was only published on the parliamentary website this week, after she appeared with world-famous Covid experts Dr Peter McCullough and Dr Pierre Kory at sold-out events in three states organised by the United Australia Party

Outraged by the fact that at present most people with vaccine injuries, including the families of the dead, are not able to access compensation and have been mocked and ostracised, McCann has become a patient advocate and is preparing a class action for compensation to be filed in the Federal Court.

On 11 January, Fauci wrote in an article published in Cell Host & Microbe that the Covid vaccines are ‘reminiscent’ of ‘sub-optimal’ flu vaccines in that both ‘elicit incomplete and short-lived protection against evolving virus variants’ that, unsurprisingly, have not ended the pandemic. Fauci says nothing about vaccine injuries and spiralling excess mortality in highly vaccinated countries. That task has been left to a heroic Aussie doctor who so far has proved more than up to the task.


Republican Senators Push Back Against Accord Giving WHO Power Over US Pandemic Response

As member states of the World Health Organization (WHO) prepare to gather in Switzerland next week to negotiate final terms of an accord that will give the WHO centralized authority over U.S. policy in the case of a pandemic, Republican senators are pushing back with an effort to reinforce congressional power to authorize treaties.

The draft accord, which would be “legally binding” on all 194 member nations, gives the WHO the authority to declare pandemics and submits member countries to “the central role of the WHO as the directing and coordinating authority on international health work,” in areas like lockdowns, treatments, medical supply chains, surveillance, and “disinformation and false news,” once a pandemic is declared.

Seventeen U.S. senators, led by Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), introduced the “No WHO Pandemic Preparedness Treaty Without Senate Approval Act” on Feb 15, which states that the pandemic accord must be deemed a treaty, thus requiring the consent of a supermajority of the Senate, which is two-thirds, or 67 senators. The legislation comes as the WHO gears up to present what it calls the “zero draft” of the accord, negotiated with the help of U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, to all member nations on Feb. 27 to agree final terms.

Other sponsors of the bill included Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), and Katie Britt (R-Ala.).

“The WHO, along with our federal health agencies, failed miserably in their response to COVID-19,” Sen. Johnson stated. “This failure should not be rewarded with a new international treaty that would increase the WHO’s power at the expense of American sovereignty.”

But some doubt this bill, even if approved, will stop the WHO accord from going into effect once President Joe Biden signs it.

“With all due respect to the sponsoring senators, that will not do the trick,” Francis Boyle, professor of international law at Illinois University, told The Epoch Times. The reason, he said, is that the WHO accord is drafted specifically to circumvent the Senate-approval process, and Congress instead should immediately withhold its yearly contributions to the WHO and take the United States out of the organization.

Currently, the United States is the largest contributor to the WHO’s $6.72 billion budget, of which $1.25 billion is for “health emergencies.” The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the second largest donor to the WHO, contributing 9 percent of its budget in 2021; China is the third.

Will Biden Need Senate Approval for WHO Accord?
It remains unclear if the Biden administration will need Senate approval for the WHO accord to go into effect. The accord itself states that it will become effective and legally binding on member states “provisionally,” as soon as it is signed and before any national legislatures approve it.

“The Biden administration can indicate that it is provisionally bringing this treaty into force upon the mere signature of the treaty,” Boyle said. “Hence, it will come into force here in the United States provisionally until the Senate decides whether or not it is going to give its advice and consent to the treaty. I personally know of no other U.S. treaty that provides for its provisional application pending the U.S. Senate giving its advice and consent to the treaty.”

While the U.S. Constitution states that the president can make treaties “provided two-thirds of the senators present concur,” American presidents have increasingly been signing international agreements without Senate consent, and those agreements have taken effect in the United States regardless.

According to the Senate’s website: “Treaties to which the United States is a party also have the force of federal legislation, forming part of what the Constitution calls ‘the supreme Law of the Land’ … In recent decades, presidents have frequently entered the United States into international agreements without the advice and consent of the Senate. These are called ‘executive agreements.’ Though not brought before the Senate for approval, executive agreements are still binding on the parties under international law.”

A report by Justia, a legal analysis and marketing firm, states that “the executive agreement has surpassed in number and perhaps in international in?uence the treaty formally signed, submitted for ratification to the Senate, and proclaimed upon ratification.

“During the first half-century of its independence, the United States was party to 60 treaties but to only 27 published executive agreements,” the report states. “Between 1939 and 1993, executive agreements comprised more than 90 percent of the international agreements concluded.”

The U.S. Supreme Court has on several occasions supported the notion that these executive agreements constitute federal law and supersede state laws and regulations. This includes State of Missouri v. Holland, which ruled that treaties supersede state laws, and United States v. Belmont, which ruled that executive agreements without Senate consent are legally binding on Americans. Under the U.S. Constitution, health policy falls under state jurisdiction, but the WHO pandemic accord may be a way to bring health policy under the jurisdiction of the federal government, once the WHO declares a pandemic.

Increasingly, the Biden administration is looking toward international agreements to do what it can’t get be achieved through Congress. Most recently, having failed to increase corporate taxes in Congress, the Biden administration entered into an international agreement with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to set minimum tax levels on all corporations within signatory countries. While GOP lawmakers said the agreement had “no path forward” toward approval as a treaty, provisions written into the agreement allowed foreign countries to tax U.S.-based corporate profits as a punitive measure, if senators do not approve it.




23 February, 2023

Dissolution Of Spike Protein By Nattokinase

Dr Peter McCullough

Far and away the most common question I get from those who took one of the COVID-19 vaccines is: “how do I get this out of my body.”

The mRNA and adenoviral DNA products were rolled out with no idea on how or when the body would ever breakdown the genetic code.

The synthetic mRNA carried on lipid nanoparticles appears to be resistant to breakdown by human ribonucleases by design so the product would be long-lasting and produce the protein product of interest for a considerable time period.

This would be an advantage for a normal human protein being replaced in a rare genetic deficiency state (e.g. alpha galactosidase in Fabry’s disease). However, it is a big problem when the protein is the pathogenic SARS-CoV-2 Spike. The adenoviral DNA (Janssen) should broken down by deoxyribonuclease, however this has not been exhaustively studied.

This leaves dissolution of Spike protein as a therapeutic goal for the vaccine injured. With the respiratory infection, Spike is processed and activated by cellular proteases including transmembrane serine protein 2 (TMPRSS2), cathepsin, and furin.

With vaccination, these systems may be avoided by systemic administration and production of Spike protein within cells. As a result, the pathogenesis of vaccine injury syndromes is believed to be driven by accumulation of Spike protein in cells, tissues, and organs.

Nattokinase is an enzyme is produced by fermenting soybeans with bacteria Bacillus subtilis var. natto and has been available as an oral supplement. It degrades fibrinogen, factor VII, cytokines, and factor VIII and has been studied for its cardiovascular benefits.

Out of all the available therapies I have used in my practice and among all the proposed detoxification agents, I believe nattokinase and related peptides hold the greatest promise for patients at this time.

Tanikawa et al examined the effect of nattokinase on the Spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. In the first experiment they demonstrated that Spike was degraded in a time and dose dependent manner in a cell lysate preparation that could be analogous to a vaccine recipient.

The second experiment demonstrated that nattokinase degraded the Spike protein in SARS-CoV-2 infected cells. This reproduced a similar study done by Oba and colleagues in 2021.

Nattokinase is dosed in fibrinolytic units (FU) per gram and can vary according to purity. Kurosawa and colleagues have shown in humans that after a single oral dose of 2000 FU D-dimer concentrations at 6, and 8 hours, and blood fibrin/fibrinogen degradation products at 4 hours after administration elevated significantly (p < 0.05, respectively).

Thus an empiric starting dose could be 2000 FU twice a day. Full pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies have not been completed, but several years of market use as an over-the-counter supplement suggests nattokinase is safe with the main caveat being excessive bleeding and cautions with concurrent antiplatelet and anticoagulant drugs.

Based on these findings, nattokinase and similar products such as serrapeptase should undergo well-funded, accelerated preclinical and clinical development programs. The issue at hand is the urgency of time, similar to that with SARS-CoV-2 infection and empiric early therapy.

It will take up to 20 years to have a fully developed pharmaceutical profile to characterize the safety and efficacy of nattokinase in the treatment of vaccine injury and post-COVID syndromes. Large number of people are sick now and many believe empiric treatment is justified given sufficiently low risk of side effects and potentially high reward.

My recommendation is to discuss this with your doctor or seek a specialist in holistic or naturopathic medicine who is experienced with the safety profile of nattokinase in a range of applications.


Over 60 Scientists Call For An End To Covid-19 ‘Vaccines’

The German Working Group for Covid Vaccine Analysis – which includes over 60 scientists, doctors, lawyers, and journalists – published their “Summary of Preliminary Findings” on the toxic substances they are finding in covid-19 vaccine samples and the changes they are seeing in the blood samples taken from vaccinated individuals.

The scientists “frequently observed an unusually rapid disintegration of the different types of cells in the vaccinated blood” and found concerning rouleaux formations of red blood cells specifically in the vaccinated samples. Because of these issues, the Working Group is calling for all covid-19 vaccine programs to end.”

“In order to avert a direct and imminent danger to human life and public safety, we ask that the Covid-19 vaccination programmes be discontinued immediately,” the Group’s report stated. The report has been sent to all members of the Lower House of Parliament in Germany and is being investigated by scientists and doctors of various disciplines.

Covid-19 Vaccines Damage The Blood, Impede Circulation
The foreign, complex structures that have been isolated in the vaccine lots have also been found in the blood of vaccinated individuals. The Working Group used artificial intelligence to examine, with precision, differences in the blood of vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.

These toxic substances are having a profound negative impact on the blood of vaccinated individuals, as seen under dark-field microscopy. These inflammatory changes to the blood are taking place regardless of the incidence and severity of the side effects that vaccinated individuals experience.

The covid-19 vaccines can cause long term changes in blood composition, without the vaccinated person being aware of these changes. The scientists wrote that the foreign objects are not the result of contamination because they are found in different blood samples from various vaccine lots.

They warn that the size of the objects can “lead to disruption in the blood circulation in the vessels.” Much of the damage is predicated on the stability of the envelope of the lipid nanoparticles.

The lipid nano-particles are designed to evade detection and deliver mRNA instructions to the cells. When the nanoparticles remain stable and effectively do their job, the blood damage is more severe and the vaccine side effects are more frequent and pronounced. The researchers warn:

The stability of the lipid nano-particle envelope is closely correlated with the incidence of vaccine side effects and injury.

The more stable this envelope, the greater the amount of mRNA that penetrates cells, where the production of spike proteins then takes place.

These results correspond with the findings of pathologists who have carried out autopsies on people who died due to vaccine injury.

Spike proteins were detected in damaged tissue. Researchers suspect that the spike protein is, in itself, toxic.

The vaccine’s mRNA is encapsulated in a protective envelope of nano lipids. These nano lipids are made out of multiple layers of polyethylene glycol (PEG). Some people have antibodies to PEG, due to previous exposure to vaccines and pharmaceuticals that contain PEG.

This may explain the different reactions to the vaccine. If a person’s immune system recognizes, attacks, and breaks down the PEG, then the mRNA will degrade and not make it to the ribosomes of the cells. If this happens, then the vaccine does not produce the spike proteins, does not cause a further immune response, and does not cause subsequent damage.

Microscopic Analysis Finds Various Metallic Elements In Covid-19 Vaccines

Researchers used scanning electron microscopy (“SEM”) and corresponding energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (“EDX”) to investigate the different vials of covid-19 vaccines. The analysis found metallic elements in the Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca vaccines.

These metallic elements included caesium, potassium, calcium, barium, cobalt, iron, chromium, titanium, cerium, gadolinium, aluminum, silicon, and sulfur. These elements were not found in the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen), Lubecavax, and Influspit Tetra vaccines.

The group hypothesized why the caesium was used in the vaccine. “From a medical point of view, caesium has no therapeutic value; on the contrary, one would have to assume that the addition of caesium disturbs the potassium balance and could cause vital cells (e.g., defense cells) to die in order to possibly accelerate the effect of the vaccination or to avoid endangering that effect.”

The Moderna vaccine also contained antimony, a highly toxic metal that could be used as an antiprotozoal adjuvant, serving an immunosuppressive effect. Notably, the vaccines contain pentavalent sodium stibogluconate.

The side effects of this substance mirror the side effects commonly reported after vaccination, including: nausea, vomiting, myalgia, headache, lethargy and ECG changes.

Long term side effects of pentavalent sodium stibogluconate administration in the blood also mirror long term side effects of vaccinated individuals, including damage to the liver and heart, pneumonia, blood count damage, and liver dysfunction.


22 February, 2023

Are covid-19 vaccine-induced adverse cardiovascular events rare?

When compared with Flu vaccines, Covid vaccines are much more dangerous

COVID-19 vaccine-induced adverse cardiovascular events (ACEs) have been judged as “rare” (and many times as mild and temporary) by the major promoters of these vaccines (caveat: these injections prevent neither infection nor viral transmission, so they are not vaccines in the classical sense). To ascertain the frequency of COVID-19 vaccine-induced ACEs, we have examined the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) database for reports of ACEs. Since some ACEs can have latency/incubation periods of a decade or more, we have also addressed the issue of Early Warning Indicators that could identify COVID-19 vaccine-induced ACEs on or over the horizon. Finally, we have compared ACEs reported following COVID-19 vaccines with those reported following influenza vaccines for similar numbers of vaccine doses delivered. In Appendix 1, we have also addressed the relevance of human clinical trials to the issues addressed in this OpEd.

While imperfect (as are most publicly-available vaccine adverse events reporting systems), VAERS is a reasonable system for identifying safety signals related to vaccines. One major VAERS deficiency is that only a small fraction of vaccine-related adverse events is reported to VAERS. A study by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, using electronic tracking, showed that “fewer than 1% of vaccine adverse events are reported”. This is an average value over all adverse events; it may be worse for some ACEs.

The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care study tracked reporting habits to VAERS for thirty days. Therefore, the 1% number should be termed a thirty-day reporting fraction. For adverse events that tend to occur rapidly, like headache, fever, chills, rashes, anaphylactic shock, blood clots, etc., a thirty-day study may offer a reasonable window. Some ACEs, however, may take a decade or more to emerge, and a thirty-day window would be grossly inadequate for accurate reporting. The numbers shown in the present analysis should be viewed as a “floor” of what the real-world numbers are. To get a more complete picture of the total ACEs of the COVID-19 vaccines, these numbers should be supplemented by ACE Early Warning Indicators whose abnormal values could emerge shortly after the injection, and allow some prediction of what lies on or over the horizon.


The VAERS database was initially accessed on 20 December 2022. The vaccines were limited to COVID-19 vaccines from all manufacturers, and the VAERS reports were for the USA. All adverse event types (termed Symptoms in VAERS) were retrieved. There were ~17,000 adverse event types retrieved, including ~5,000 with zero entries (the latter were not analyzed, although when scaling from VAERS entries to real-world numbers, they could possibly amount to tens of events for each symptom). A comprehensive query (consisting of myriad synonyms of ACEs) was used to search the VAERS database, and retrieve ACE-related adverse events.

On 10 February 2023, the VAERS database was accessed to get similar information for the influenza vaccines from all manufacturers, and the VAERS reports were for the USA. The time period for the latter was selected to cover similar numbers of doses for the flu vaccines and the COVID-19 vaccines.

On 14 February 2023, the VAERS database was accessed to obtain parametric proximity data for assessing the fraction of ACEs that were reported seven and fourteen days past injection.


Before presenting the numbers, we need to define what is an ACE event reported in VAERS. Is it 1) a biomarker associated with the eventual emergence of ACE, 2) a group of biomarkers reflecting pre-clinical ACE, 3) a newly-diagnosed ACE, 4) an ACE that has been exacerbated, or 5) an ACE death? While all five are valid candidates, the present study concentrates on items 3) and 4), with the one exception that Troponins were included (since they were listed as a possible event).

This restriction to items 3) and 4) substantially under-reports the COVID-19 vaccine adverse events that may eventually result in ACEs, because it excludes abnormalities in ACE risk biomarkers (with the exception of Troponins). These abnormalities in the appropriate ACE risk biomarkers would provide an Early Warning Indicator for potential ACEs to emerge in the near or far future. A few potential Early Warning Indicators for ACEs are shown in the following: myocardial injury (Cardiac troponin I (cTnI) and T (cTnT), High-sensitivity cardiac troponin (hs-cTn), Heart-type fatty acid binding protein (H-FABP)); inflammation (High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), Growth-differentiation factor-15 (GDF-15), Fibrinogen, Uric acid (UA)); plaque instability/rupture (Pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A), Myeloperoxidase (MPO), Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs)); platelet activation (Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2), Secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2), Soluble CD40 ligand (sCD40L)); neurohormonal activation (Copeptin, Mid-regional-pro-adrenomedullin (MR-proADM)); myocardial dysfunction or stress (Natriuretic peptides, ST2, Endothelin-1 (ET-1), Galectin-3 (Gal3), Neuregulin-1 (NRG-1)); microRNAs (miRNAs). A broader group of ACE biomarkers, which includes most of the biomarkers listed above, can be found in Figure 1 of the following link, and a broader group can be found in Table 1 of the following link.

Most of the ACE risk biomarkers listed above did not appear in the VAERS output for Symptoms, even for the events that have zero entries. Assessment of abnormalities in these risk biomarkers would provide a more accurate picture of what can be expected in the mid and long-term from the injections given already.

The results for items 3) and 4), and Troponins, follow. There were ~1020 different ACEs reported in VAERS for the COVID-19 vaccines, with ~156000 total number of events. Converting these VAERS entries to real-world numbers of COVID-19 vaccine-induced ACEs requires three major assumptions, and some minor ones. The major assumptions are 1) the ACEs reported in VAERS following the administration of COVID-19 vaccines are in fact caused in part or in whole by the COVID-19 vaccines, 2) the under-reporting factor (URF) to be used for ACE scale-up to real-world numbers can be approximated for very conservative estimation purposes by the Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare thirty-day URFs, and 3) the fraction of the VAERS ACE entries to which the URF should be applied can be approximated by autopsy results for fraction of post-COVID-19 vaccine deaths that can be attributed to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Assumption 1)

Assumption 1) is based on four sources of evidence: i) the biological mechanisms responsible for cardiovascular damage; ii) the autopsy results confirming the operability of the biological mechanisms; iii) a comparison with similar influenza vaccination data to estimate the cardiovascular damage expected (based on extrapolations of pre-pandemic adverse cardiovascular events); and iv) a parametric study showing the fraction of symptoms that occurred within seven and fourteen days of onset from the injections.

i). Biological Mechanisms

The COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are injected in the deltoid muscle, and a fraction enters the bloodstream directly or indirectly (link 1; link2). The mRNA that enters the bloodstream is able to survive because of protection by the LNP encapsulation. As the Pfizer pharmacovigilance studies showed, the LNP package concentrates in a number of organs.

The damage to the blood vessels in the circulatory system, and then to the tissues and organs, has been described most eloquently in a video by Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi, a world-renowned microbiologist: “the vaccines cause cells deep inside our body to express the viral spike protein, which they were never meant to do by nature. Any cell which expresses this foreign antigen on its surface will come under attack by the immune system, which will involve both IgG antibodies and cytotoxic T-lymphocytes. This may occur in any organ, but the damage will be most severe in vital organs. We are seeing now that the heart is affected in many young people, leading to myocarditis or even sudden cardiac arrest and death.”.

Thus, while all tissues and organs in the body will be potential targets of this induced autoimmune process, those of the circulatory system will be prime targets because of their proximity to the circulating LNP-enclosed mRNA. The spike proteins expressed on the surface of the endothelial cells (those that line the interior of the blood vessels and are in closest proximity to the innate immune system components flowing by in the bloodstream) are able to interact with the platelets flowing by and initiate the clotting process. So, the net effect is coagulation and clotting of the blood, destruction of the endothelium, and subsequent destruction of the tissues and organs as the LNP package transitions from the bloodstream through the ruptured endothelium into the surrounding tissues and organs.

Given this mode of action, the question we should be asking is not why we are experiencing such large numbers of ACES, but rather why wouldn’t we expect a massive number of ACEs resulting from these vaccinations? In some sense, why doesn’t almost every mRNA vaccine recipient experience one or more ACEs?

The answer may lie in the existence of so-called “hot lots”. Some analysts have correlated VAERS vaccine lot numbers with serious adverse events, and have found some of the vaccine lots are responsible for far more serious adverse events than other lots (link 1; link 2). Explanations for this are manifold, but shoddy manufacturing processes are one credible explanation. Many/most of the vaccines produced are not fully functional, and their potential for damage is muted. If this turns out to be true after further validation, it means the toxicity of the mRNA vaccines per functional dose are higher than have been calculated.

The ACEs represented in the peer-reviewed literature have focused on myocarditis (e.g., link 1; link 2; link 3; link 4; link 5). Because of the censorship that exists in the biomedical peer-reviewed literature today, many other ACEs have not been addressed. However, as Appendix 2 shows, the different types of ACEs are monumental, as one would expect from the operational mechanisms of the injectant, and some ACEs are large compared to myocarditis. The alternative biomedical literature is a much more credible source of real-world information on the causes and extent of ACEs.

ii). Autopsy Results

Autopsies have been the most credible source of information about the extent of the COVID-19 vaccine-induced damage, although they have been discouraged by governments around the world. Some that have been made available show the extent of the damage in detail, and confirm the theory of damage expressed by Dr. Bhakdi and many others. While different organs may receive the bulk of the damage in different individuals, most autopsies show the heart to be a major target. Typically, the autopsies show the spike protein infiltration into an organ (or tissue), the rupture of the endothelium, and the infiltration of the lymphocytes (which attack the cells that express the spike protein on the surface and thereby damage the organ (or tissue)). This infiltration of spike protein appears to be a classic convection-diffusion process, with convection mainly through the bloodstream and diffusion through the tissues/organs. As long as the body continues to function like a spike protein factory, which appears to be one consequence of the injection, the infiltration of spike protein and associated damage will continue. With the addition of periodic boosters, the spike protein “factory” is replenished, and the damage will continue to spread. It is difficult for me to see how anyone who has been injected with a functional mRNA vaccine can avoid this damage, and the associated adverse effects on lifespan.

iii). Comparison with Similar Influenza Vaccination Data

The VAERS entries for ACEs can be viewed as consisting of two parts: the numbers expected for any ACE based on extrapolation of historical pre-pandemic trends, and the numbers for the ACE due to the COVID-19 vaccines. Since the numbers expected would be about the same for influenza and COVID-19, these background numbers can be bounded based on the influenza data. We did a simple comparison of some of the highest frequency ACEs reported here with their counterparts for the influenza vaccines reported in VAERS. We selected influenza, since it is a respiratory viral disease and has a number of features in common with COVID-19.

There have been about 670 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered in the USA since late December 2020, and about 717 million doses of influenza vaccines administered in the USA since the beginning of 2019. Thus, the number of doses is relatively similar for the influenza vaccines and the COVID-19 vaccines over the time periods selected. Table 1 compares VAERS entries for selected ACEs (those with high entry numbers for COVID-19 vaccines) between influenza vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines.

Thus, for similar dose numbers, and an even longer average tracking times for the flu vaccines, the VAERS ACEs entries for the flu vaccines are almost two orders of magnitude less than for the COVID-19 vaccines. While the number of ACEs induced by the vaccines could be vastly different for the two cases, one would expect the background levels of ACEs (the numbers of ACEs expected based on extrapolation of historical trends) to be roughly similar. If anything, they would be larger for the flu vaccines because of the increased time period over which they were administered relative to the COVID-19 vaccine administration period.

The small number of ACEs (<2% of COVID-19 numbers) reported for the flu vaccines would suggest 1) most of the COVID-19 ACE entries were vaccine-induced, and 2) the ACE onsets following injection were accelerated sufficiently by the COVID-19 injections that the ACEs could be linked to the shots and would motivate reporting to VAERS by the healthcare provider! Conversely, in the case of the flu vaccines, almost all ACEs that occurred post-vaccine may have been sufficiently far removed in time from the injection that the healthcare provider was not motivated to report them to VAERS.

Additionally, I have seen many videos of testimonies by healthcare providers that they were heavily discouraged from reporting post-COVID-19 vaccine adverse events to VAERS, while I have never seen or read of similar discouragement for flu vaccine reporting. This deliberate suppression of reporting post-COVID-19 vaccine adverse events to VAERS lends further argument for increasing the URFs of COVID-19 vaccine adverse events.


21 February, 2023

The Covidians

There seems to be a growing resignation to the fact that the Covid vaccines wane much sooner than initially hoped. At first, of course, the hope was that one shot - or double-shot - would do the trick. That soon devolved to every year, like the flu shot. Now, the understanding seems to be that the boosters ‘last’ about 3-4 months, and someone who wants to stay ‘up to date’ is going to have to get - count ‘em - four shots every year. The more knowledgeable Covidians don’t seem to think anymore that these ‘vaccines’ prevent them from catching Covid in the first place, but they still consider they are protected from getting severely ill or dying. (The vaccinated people who do get severely sick and die from Covid? Well, they were probably going to die anyway.)

With that realization has come growing pockets of concern about the volume of the mRNA spike protein. That was surprising to me since these lemmings tend to trust Big Pharma and anything it wants to put into their bodies most of all. If anything, injecting bucketloads of mRNA spike protein into their systems should be a sacrament as holy to these people as anything a religion could provide to any of us. But, as it turns out, even Branch Covidians are noticing and pointing out uncomfortable side effects, even if they still fail to acknowledge the many deaths and permanent impairments Covid vaccines are likely responsible for (those are always just ‘coincidences,’ don’t you know). I noticed several tweets pointing out concern at this many mRNA shots and even stating how uncomfortable their last shot was because of this or that side effect they experienced. Many in this camp have expressed a desire to switch to a non-mRNA vaccine like the recently approved Novavax, and some even stated that they have already gone out of their way - even crossing state lines - to do so.

Masking, unfortunately, but not surprisingly, maintains its revered status as an Icon of the Covidian religion. Except, while worshippers continue to insist, despite all evidence to the contrary, that any face covering is better than no face covering, the shift to at least an N95 or better as a standard of quality and protection is complete. A true Covidian won’t go indoors near people in any setting without a mask, preferably an N95. For those who want to ‘protect’ themselves as much as possible, the cadence seems to be ‘updated vaccine plus masking.’

Covidians on Twitter love hashtags like #CovidIsntOver and #LongCovid. They consistently use them to point out that the virus is still out there, waiting to strike them dead at any point or give them a lifetime of medical issues - a.k.a. #LongCovid. The latter is how they keep the fear alive among the few still willing to listen. Of course, everyone knows or seems to know that Covid has become a cold for most people. Still, if hard-core Covidians can keep the base scared of unknown weird maladies that could last a lifetime, they can keep them ‘masked and vaxxed’ in perpetuity.

Finally, despite all the measures they are still entirely in favor of, Covidians seem to be grudgingly resigning themselves to the fact that they will likely continue getting Covid over and over again in perpetuity. Still, that doesn’t keep them from strictly adhering to their religious dogma of masking and vaccines. It’s a paradox, but they don’t seem to notice or care. Through it all, like any religion, there’s an apocalyptic tenor, a sense that they would love for the virus to return in some deadly form where they are proven right, and the doubters (us) are proven wrong once and for all.

If any of that sounds familiar, remember, it’s a religion.


The major mistake Australia made during the Covid-19 lockdowns: Top professor describes hated rule as 'absolutely atrocious'

Peter Collignon - one of Australia's most trusted voices through the Covid crisis - has said restrictions on outdoor activities during the Covid-lockdown was 'absolutely atrocious' and a major mistake.

The infectious diseases doctor tweeted on Monday that 'restrictions on outdoor activities (during Covid lockdowns) was a major mistake'.

He said his warnings from the start of the pandemic that preventing people from going out to exercise had been proven right - 'We should never in the future stop people from being outdoors.'

Professor Collignon told Daily Mail Australia that 'No matter how hard you look, you can not find (much Covid) transmission outdoors.

'There was some - there was a report in the US of someone talking to somebody for 15 minutes outside and getting Covid, and there were some building workers in Singapore who probably got it outdoors.

'But basically, outdoors, there's very little transmission of Covid. The effective R (the rate of passing Covid on to another person) was much less than one.

'In other words, you didn't transmit it much,' he said.

The doctor, who lectures at the Australian National University's medical school in Canberra, said restrictions on outdoor exercise 'was a real mistake'.

'There was a lot of hysteria about people going to beaches and to parks, and you could only be out for an hour a day and closing parks for children.'

He said while it could not have been guaranteed that no transmission would have occurred outdoors, 'it would have been minimal and should have easily been handled by contract tracing and testing'.

Prof Collignon said this is not a conclusion he has come to with the benefit of looking back, that he had been 'saying that three years ago too'.

Photos on social media showing crowded beaches during lockdowns - implying that people were breaking the law - were misleading, he said.

'They did it with telephoto lenses which made it look like people were really close together.

'But when you looked at aerial views from drones, people were more than two metres apart.'

Prof Collignon said at the time that lockdowns such as closing national parks so people couldn't go walking were 'not sensible'.

'And in retrospect, it looks an absolutely atrocious mistake to have made those rules,' he said.

The issue of travelling in a crowded space to get to a beach or park during lockdowns complicated matters, though.

'If you had to travel by train or bus or a crowded car to get there, that's a risk. But it's being indoors that's the big risk.

'If you can go in your own transport to an outdoor venue, you had no more risk of acquiring Covid from anybody not in your household.'

Prof Collignon also addressed the issue of the increased number of drownings this summer being blamed in part on children not having been able to learn to swim in pools due to lockdowns.

'I am under the impression, and it's based on hearsay, but there have been less children learning to swim over the last few years than in the years beforehand,' he said.

'It all depends on the data ... on how many children aged two to six have drowned and how different that is (from pre-pandemic numbers).

'Because that is the age group that would have been affected by not being able to learn to swim (due to lockdowns).'


Biden Admin Negotiates Deal to Give WHO Authority Over US Pandemic Policies

The Biden administration is preparing to sign up the United States to a “legally binding” accord with the World Health Organization (WHO) that would give this Geneva-based UN subsidiary the authority to dictate America’s policies during a pandemic.

Despite widespread criticism of the WHO’s response to the COVID pandemic, U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra joined with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in September 2022 to announce “the U.S.-WHO Strategic Dialogue.” Together, they developed a “platform to maximize the longstanding U.S. government-WHO partnership, and to protect and promote the health of all people around the globe, including the American people.”

These discussions and others spawned the “zero draft” (pdf) of a pandemic treaty, published on Feb. 1, which now seeks ratification by all 194 WHO member states. A meeting of the WHO’s Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) is scheduled for Feb. 27 to work out the final terms, which all members will then sign.

Written under the banner of “the world together equitably,” the zero draft grants the WHO the power to declare and manage a global pandemic emergency. Once a health emergency is declared, all signatories, including the United States, would submit to the authority of the WHO regarding treatments, government regulations such as lockdowns and vaccine mandates, global supply chains, and monitoring and surveillance of populations.

Centralized Pandemic Response

“They want to see a centralized, vaccine-and-medication-based response, and a very restrictive response in terms of controlling populations,” David Bell, a public health physician and former WHO staffer specializing in epidemic policy, told The Epoch Times. “They get to decide what is a health emergency, and they are putting in place a surveillance mechanism that will ensure that there are potential emergencies to declare.”

The WHO pandemic treaty is part of a two-track effort, coinciding with an initiative by the World Health Assembly (WHA) to create new global pandemic regulations that would also supersede the laws of member states. The WHA is the rule-making body of the WHO, comprised of representatives from the member states.

“Both [initiatives] are fatally dangerous,” Francis Boyle, professor of international law at Illinois University, told The Epoch Times. “Either one or both would set up a worldwide medical police state under the control of the WHO, and in particular WHO Director-General Tedros. If either one or both of these go through, Tedros or his successor will be able to issue orders that will go all the way down the pipe to your primary care physicians.”

Physician Meryl Nass told The Epoch Times: “If these rules go through as currently drafted, I, as a doctor, will be told what I am allowed to give a patient and what I am prohibited from giving a patient whenever the WHO declares a public health emergency. So they can tell you you’re getting remdesivir, but you can’t have hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin. What they’re also saying is they believe in equity, which means everybody in the world gets vaccinated, whether or not you need it, whether or not you’re already immune.”

Regarding medical treatments, the accord would require member nations to “monitor and regulate against substandard and falsified pandemic-related products.” Based on previous WHO and Biden administration policy, this would likely include forcing populations to take newly-developed vaccines while preventing doctors from prescribing non-vaccine treatments or medicines.

Circumventing America’s Constitution

A key question surrounding the accord is whether the Biden administration can bind America to treaties and agreements without the consent of the U.S. Senate, which is required under the Constitution. The zero draft concedes that, per international law, treaties between countries must be ratified by national legislatures, thus respecting the right of their citizens to consent. However, the draft also includes a clause that the accord will go into effect on a “provisional” basis, as soon as it is signed by delegates to the WHO, and therefore it will be legally binding on members without being ratified by legislatures.

“Whoever drafted this clause knew as much about U.S. constitutional law and international law as I did, and deliberately drafted it to circumvent the power of the Senate to give its advice and consent to treaties, to provisionally bring it into force immediately upon signature,” Boyle said. In addition, “the Biden administration will take the position that this is an international executive agreement that the president can conclude of his own accord without approval by Congress, and is binding on the United States of America, including all state and local democratically elected officials, governors, attorney generals and health officials.”

In July 2020, then-President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from membership in the WHO. Citing the WHO’s dismal performance in responding to the COVID pandemic and its ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Trump said that U.S. funding of approximately half a billion dollars per year would also cease.

In response, then-presidential-candidate Joe Biden vowed: “On my first day as President, I will rejoin the WHO and restore our leadership on the world stage.” Biden kept his promise and took it one step further, negotiating the pandemic accord.


20 February, 2023

COVID Vaccine Allergies: What We Know So Far

“Excipients” are likely responsible for allergic reactions to COVID-19 vaccines, according to a 2022 review article published in the Journal of the National Medical Association. At least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine has been administered to 69.5% of the global total population, as of Feb 16, 2023, and over 750,000 doses continue to be administered each day. Vaccine reactions are on the rise, although hypersensitivity reactions are rarely observed. In 2020, TrialSite reported that an ingredient in the COVID-19 vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech may have caused severe allergic reactions in at least eight people within two weeks.

Excipients are ingredients added to drugs or vaccines for the purposes of long-term stabilization, protection, and more. They include everything other than the active pharmaceutical ingredient and are ideally inert.

Hypersensitivity is a situation in which the immune system overreacts or reacts abnormally to an antigen. In a lifetime, a person can experience a wide range of allergic reactions. Many of these responses end spontaneously, but some might cause catastrophic consequences, although this is rare. An allergic reaction can be triggered by any material introduced into the body, whether through inhalation, topical application, oral ingestion, or vaccination.

To investigate the allergic effects of globally administered COVID-19 vaccines, Haq et al. gathered findings from 72 articles by using 11 keywords such as "SARS-CoV-2," "COVID-19," and "hypersensitivity". They also examined different types of hypersensitivity reactions, allergic reactions to different COVID-19 vaccines, clinical aspects, and prevention of vaccine-induced hypersensitivity reactions.

Highlights of Hypersensitivity Reactions

Various kinds of hypersensitivities can occur. These different reactions can be classified into four main types:

Type I is an IgE antibody-mediated hypersensitivity that can occur within minutes to a few hours following allergen exposure through a vaccination, wasp, or toxin. This allergen can cause the release of biochemical messengers such as histamine, prostaglandins, and leukotrienes, leading to anaphylactic shock, which can be fatal.

Type II is mediated by IgE or lgM antibodies. This type of allergy causes cell malfunction and cell death. It's responsible for most autoimmune disorders, such as lupus or Goodpasture syndrome that cause antibodies to damage the organs such as kidneys and lungs.

Type III causes a complex reaction of immune complements. Immune complexes, consisting of accumulated antigen and antibody molecules, mediate inappropriate immune reactions. These immune reactions cause damage to vessels skin, and joints.

Type IV, or delayed-type hypersensitivity, is a cell-mediated immune response that occurs after allergen exposure. This response takes place over the course of several days and is triggered by T cells rather than antibodies. T cells that have been sensitized in advance trigger an immunological response that eventually causes dermatitis.

Those who have a history of allergic reactions are more likely to experience anaphylactic reactions to COVID-19 vaccinations. These reactions often take place less than 30 minutes after immunization and are caused by an acute IgE-mediated mechanism.

What Causes Vaccine Hypersensitivity?

The cause of a vaccine-induced hypersensitivity reaction is frequently difficult to pinpoint. Allergies are caused by the excipients added to preserve the drug's density, uptake, or solvability. However, these compounds can produce a variety of detrimental reactions, from dermatitis to hypotensive shock. Unfortunately, vaccinations must contain excipients to sustain vaccine potency, generate a robust immune response, and prevent contamination.

Vaccines that contain egg protein, gelatin, virus-inactivating proteins, mercury-based protective agents, or specific antibiotics such as neomycin can cause common type 1 hypersensitivity. Researchers also point out that the polyethylene glycol (PEG) molecule present in vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, could activate the complement system.

PEGs are polyester-based chemicals that are widely utilized as additives in medicine, cosmetics, and the food industry. PEG allergy is uncommon, although it is becoming more common and can be serious. PEGs are utilized for the stabilization of biomedicine formulas, however, conjugating PEGs with other compounds found in vaccines, such as proteins, might boost their immunogenic response.

Different Excipients in Different Vaccines

There are various types of COVID-19 vaccines that use different mechanisms. However, Haq et al. reviewed vaccines by Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT162b2), Moderna (mRNA-1273), AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson (Ad26.COV2.S), and Sinopharm (BBIBP-CorV). They found the following:

The mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, contain many excipients. Both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines contain mRNA and excipients such as potassium chloride, monobasic potassium phosphate, sodium chloride (salt), dibasic sodium phosphate, and sucrose (type of sugar). Minerals such as potassium, chloride, and phosphate are commonly found in foods and medicines. All these chemicals are usually used in vaccines to deliver the vaccine in a liquid solution and also to preserve stability and pH values.

New mRNA vaccines, unlike previously existing vaccines, deliver mRNA to your body using multiple lipid nanoparticles to protect the mRNA and contribute to the formation of immunity. These mRNA vaccines also contain PEG molecules, which were previously mentioned as an allergen.

Oxford/Astra Zeneca and Johnson & Johnson's vaccines insert the COVID-19 S-protein gene into the chimpanzee, gorilla, and human adenovirus vectors. These vectors are used to transport viral genes into a human cell to make it lose its ability to replicate. Excipients like polysorbate 80 or Tween 80 can be found in AstraZeneca's and Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccines. The chemical structure of polysorbate 80 is similar to that of PEGs and these can also cause allergic reactions.Most individuals who experience allergic reactions do so as a result of these excipients.

Sinopharm is a more traditional vaccine that is generated from the inactivated COVID-19 virus. Thimerosal and aluminum are used as adjuvants in this type of vaccine in addition to the active ingredient. Thimerosal is a mercury-based antiviral agent that is added to vaccines to kill viruses and bacteria. Aluminum hydroxide or aluminum phosphate is used to boost the immune system. Thimerosal and aluminum are metals and are considered contaminants. However, whether they induce allergies or not is still debatable.

Detection and Prevention of COVID-19 Vaccine Hypersensitivity
Almost all vaccination components may cause allergic reactions in susceptible individuals. Allergies can be caused by living or non-living main ingredients, protective agents, additives, or antibiotics. Pfizer and Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines do not have latex rubber stoppers or cultured proteins made from eggs, yeast, or gelatin, which can cause hypersensitivity. Almost all COVID-19 vaccinations, however, can induce IgE-mediated Type-I hypersensitivity. Although vaccine protective agents and additives can produce particular reactions by boosting the effects of a strong immune system and the vaccination's protection, the vaccine's capacity to trigger reactions is frequently unpredictable.

These reactions can be triggered by vaccine-induced allergies as well as by vasovagal syndrome, which is caused by an inability to regulate blood pressure. Vasovagal syndrome might cause nausea, blurred vision, and a feeling of lightheadedness. Furthermore, anxiety, fear, and tension can promote vasovagal activity and be misinterpreted as an allergic reaction. Tremors, palpitations, dizziness, and breathing problems caused by anxiety may appear to be allergic reactions.

Screening for hypersensitivity reactions before the COVID-19 vaccination is not mandatory. However, it is recommended by the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI). Many health professionals also advise monitoring allergic reactions for 30 minutes after the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. If a severe reaction occurs after the first vaccination, it is recommended not to take a second dose without consulting a medical professional. Allergy sufferers should take precautions and have a clear understanding of their allergic sensitivities.


Vaccine Activist Group Sues to Get VAERS Analyses: “Incredible Level of Harm”?

In a February 17 legal update, the Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN), a nonprofit activist group considered “anti-vax” by the mainstream but one of the most active groups forcing information disclosures from the U.S. government in association with the COVID-19 countermeasure response reports on the status of two lawsuits seeking disclosure of legally required VAERS analyses.

Although considered “anti-vaxers,” ICAN’s efforts may well lead to increased transparency which will benefit the public. They note that on June 30, 2022, they submitted about 20 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to both the FDA and the CDC seeking analyses they were required to do based on VAERS’ Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for SARS-CoV-2. To date, ICAN has filed two lawsuits over three of the FOIA, and they allege that they have already uncovered damning data: “They reflect that the CDC’s own pre-determined analysis of VAERS data showed COVID-19 vaccines were causing an incredible level of harm.” CDC’s response is that a separate FDA analysis demonstrates that the CDC’s identification of widespread injuries is “not concerning.” Yet FDA is still fighting to keep its data out of the public realm.

FDA Denies Possession of Records

One key request sought all, “reports of possible concern based on [] data mining results” that FDA had been required to share CDC according to the SOP. After a denial by FDA and its appeal process, ICAN sued FDA on January 13, 2023. A separate request sought records relating to “Empirical Bayesian data mining” which is mandated by the SOP. Asserting that these records are “opinions, recommendations, and policy discussions,” FDA denied the request. Eventually, ICAN filed yet another suit on January 25, 2023. Per the SOP, Propositional Reporting Ratio (PRR) analyses were to be done, “to identify AEs [adverse events] that are disproportionately reported relative to other AEs.” To ICAN’s surprise, FDA responded that it did not have any records that would be covered by the request.

House of Cards?

Yet a letter from CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky to Senator Ron Johnson said otherwise by stating that, “CDC performed PRR analysis between March 2022 through July 31, 2022, to corroborate the results of EB data mining.” And after ICAN sued for PRR-related materials, the Epoch Times reported that, strangely, the outlet did get the PRR analyses from CDC based on its own FOIA—and this is data that ICAN had been told did not even exist. According to ICAN, “the analyses show alarming safety signals.” Dr. Walensky’s letter to Sen. Johnson included that, “Notably, results from PRR analysis were generally consistent with EB [Empirical Bayesian] data mining [conducted by the FDA]….” ICAN supposes that the Bayesian data mining records are being withheld as they likely support the “shocking” PRR data. So, CDC is relying on FDA information to claim that its own PRR data is not of concern, yet the latter agency won’t release this information. To quote ICAN, “If FDA’s Empirical Bayesian analysis also shows the same level of harm, then the entire CDC/FDA house of cards regarding COVID-19 vaccine safety will come crashing down.”


19 February, 2023

Natural immunity is best

From the outset of the pandemic the usefulness of natural immunity was pooh-poohed by all those in power. One would normally assume that once you had a viral illness, that would protect you from catching it again. For some reason --presumably political -- Covid was said to be an exception to that.

Naturally-acquired immunity was said not to matter. You still had to get vaccinated to be protected from the illness. That was always rubbish and a very comprehensive study just out in The Lancet really knocks the nonsense on the head. After examining all the research now available in the medical literature, they conclude:

"Furthermore, although protection from past infection wanes over time, the level of protection against re-infection, symptomatic disease, and severe disease appears to be at least as durable, if not more so, than that provided by two-dose vaccination with the mRNA vaccines for ancestral, alpha, delta, and omicron BA.1 variants"

So if you had already had the disease you didn't need vaccination. We were all lied to by those in power. Some of them may have meant well but all should have been aware that what they were saying was unlikely to be true.

Journal summary below:


Understanding the level and characteristics of protection from past SARS-CoV-2 infection against subsequent re-infection, symptomatic COVID-19 disease, and severe disease is essential for predicting future potential disease burden, for designing policies that restrict travel or access to venues where there is a high risk of transmission, and for informing choices about when to receive vaccine doses. We aimed to systematically synthesise studies to estimate protection from past infection by variant, and where data allow, by time since infection.

In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we identified, reviewed, and extracted from the scientific literature retrospective and prospective cohort studies and test-negative case-control studies published from inception up to Sept 31, 2022, that estimated the reduction in risk of COVID-19 among individuals with a past SARS-CoV-2 infection in comparison to those without a previous infection. We meta-analysed the effectiveness of past infection by outcome (infection, symptomatic disease, and severe disease), variant, and time since infection. We ran a Bayesian meta-regression to estimate the pooled estimates of protection. Risk-of-bias assessment was evaluated using the National Institutes of Health quality-assessment tools. The systematic review was PRISMA compliant and was registered with PROSPERO (number CRD42022303850).

We identified a total of 65 studies from 19 different countries. Our meta-analyses showed that protection from past infection and any symptomatic disease was high for ancestral, alpha, beta, and delta variants, but was substantially lower for the omicron BA.1 variant. Pooled effectiveness against re-infection by the omicron BA.1 variant was 45·3% (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 17·3–76·1) and 44·0% (26·5–65·0) against omicron BA.1 symptomatic disease. Mean pooled effectiveness was greater than 78% against severe disease (hospitalisation and death) for all variants, including omicron BA.1. Protection from re-infection from ancestral, alpha, and delta variants declined over time but remained at 78·6% (49·8–93·6) at 40 weeks. Protection against re-infection by the omicron BA.1 variant declined more rapidly and was estimated at 36·1% (24·4–51·3) at 40 weeks. On the other hand, protection against severe disease remained high for all variants, with 90·2% (69·7–97·5) for ancestral, alpha, and delta variants, and 88·9% (84·7–90·9) for omicron BA.1 at 40 weeks.

Protection from past infection against re-infection from pre-omicron variants was very high and remained high even after 40 weeks. Protection was substantially lower for the omicron BA.1 variant and declined more rapidly over time than protection against previous variants. Protection from severe disease was high for all variants. The immunity conferred by past infection should be weighed alongside protection from vaccination when assessing future disease burden from COVID-19, providing guidance on when individuals should be vaccinated, and designing policies that mandate vaccination for workers or restrict access, on the basis of immune status, to settings where the risk of transmission is high, such as travel and high-occupancy indoor settings.


Breaking the silence: do vested interests stifle medical discussions?

Julie Sladden

Previously we examined the story behind UK Cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra’s call to ‘stop the shots’.

In this follow up piece we explore potential factors stifling open discussion by medical professionals around this important issue. There are two broad categories: blind spots and roadblocks.

Blind spots

All vaccines are safe, therefore these vaccines are safe. This is something we have all heard before.

One of the biggest blind spots is the foundation of apparent ‘universal vaccine safety’ upon which this new technology rests. Dr Aseem Malhotra admits that even he ‘could not have expected or conceived of the possibility that these vaccines, these new vaccines, could cause harm’.

Assumptions were made. Malhotra explains:

‘Vaccines… have got this special place in medicine, they’re untouchable. (They’re) “only good”, so don’t even go there. Combine that with the fact the regulator approved it, and the fact (these vaccines were) originally invented… by smaller groups of scientists. (Pfizer and Moderna) just scaled it up. So, there was the benefit of the doubt here.’

However, no drug, medication or intervention is completely safe. Not even vaccines – why else would vaccine injury compensation schemes exist around the world?

In addition, these mRNA products are not like every other vaccine that we’ve seen. Just ask world-renowned virologist, immunologist, and mRNA technology developer, Robert Malone.

With any new technology caution is paramount and the focus should be on demonstrating that benefits outweigh harms. For this to happen, the ingredients are time (usually around decade for new drug development), and an attitude of ‘prove to me it’s safe’ rather than ‘prove to me it’s unsafe’ – the inverted reality we currently seem to have.

There is also a widely held assumption that pharmaceutical companies have our best interests at heart. They don’t.

A medical colleague recently stated, ‘Oh, I don’t think (insert drug company name here) would do anything like that!’ I was gobsmacked. My colleague was talking about a member of the industry well known for corruption and lawsuits resulting in convictions that run to the billions.

In the case of the Covid mRNA injectables, reports of compromised data integrity, attempts to withhold raw data (for 55 years!), and data reanalyses raising serious safety concerns, have done nothing to convince us otherwise.

Malhotra agrees:

‘I find it difficult to believe that scientists at these companies didn’t know what that data showed… and the harm it would do. But (the companies) are not interested in that because they are legally protected from liability of injury. The legal obligation … of pharma companies is to profit their shareholders. Ethics don’t mean anything to them.

‘Big Pharma and Big Corporations often behave, in the way they conduct their business, like psychopaths: deliberately deceiving others for profit with callous unconcern for the safety of others. This is essentially what we are seeing.‘

Another misunderstanding is the idea that the government provides a current, individualised, and unbiased source of medical information.

Government information is generally slow to appear, impersonal (for the patient in front of you), and driven by fiscal and political motives. Every year doctors are issued with pages of ‘guidelines’ aimed at populations, not individuals, presenting a minefield for the discerning doctor and the patient in front of them.

Some doctors have come to rely heavily on guidelines. In this over-litigious and over-regulated space, guidelines present a safe, and easy, way to practice for time-poor professionals. The by-product of this is there is a less perceived necessity for doctors to seek the evidence for themselves, combined with a mindset that ‘if I stick to the guidelines all will be well’.


‘In answering why aren’t more doctors speaking out, (partly it) is that most doctors are not aware that the vaccines are causing all these harms,’ says Malhotra.

‘If you are not aware of a possibility of something causing harm or a side effect, then you never diagnose it. You will miss it.

‘The WHO endorsed an official list of potential serious adverse effects when the vaccine was rolled out and the list is huge.

‘Doctors have not been aware of these (potential) side effects and so they are not diagnosing. They are looking around for other causes when people are having heart attacks and (they are) not even thinking of the vaccine.’

The co-director of Coverse, an Australian organisation run by, and for, those who have suffered a significant adverse reaction following their Covid jab, says this is a vicious cycle:

‘If the doctor doesn’t think (something) is caused by the vaccine they may not report it… By not reporting it, the government doesn’t have the full picture so they don’t put out safety notices and then doctors don’t know that they should be looking out for it, so they don’t report it.’

There is also an ongoing information war.

When the pandemic started so did the daily government-endorsed updates into my email and in tray. Added to this, as the vaccines rolled out, was an information stream from professional, regulatory, and ‘pharma-funded’ doctors’ media. It was relentless.

It is hard not to drown in all that info and instead choose to do individual research rather than be spoon-fed. Many doctors are working so hard they simply don’t have the time. Malhotra agrees:

‘The chair of the BMA, when I spent two hours on the phone with him last December said, “Aseem, nobody seems to have critically appraised the evidence … most of my colleagues are getting their information on the vaccines from the BBC.”’

Understanding ‘the science’ is not straightforward.

If a doctor does undertake individual research, it’s important they understand the current landscape of the literature. It’s a long story, probably best summed up by Lancet editor, Richard Horton:

‘The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue… science has taken a turn towards darkness.’

There are many drivers of this problem, but front and centre is (you guessed it), the ‘pharma elephant’ in the room. Pharmaceutical interests are responsible for much of the funding for research grants and academic institutions, and also influence the journals in which such research is published.

A doctor also needs to have the ability to critically appraise the evidence in a way that they can then communicate it to patients. This takes time and expertise. Many end up relying on the regulator (for example the TGA) to give them the information (read: guidelines, see above) in the way that they should communicate it. But even this path is subject to potential pharmaceutical influence, as highlighted recently in the BMJ: ‘Of the six regulators, Australia had the highest proportion of budget from industry fees (96 per cent).’

Finally, if a doctor can critically appraise the data, they may become afraid to go against the establishment or to speak out due to likely censorship and pushback.

Malhotra surmises, ‘As you narrow it down, you end up with only a handful of people that; 1) can critically appraise the evidence; 2) can articulate it, and; 3) have the platform to do it. That then becomes a very small number of people.’

‘We are up against a juggernaut in terms of the capture of the medical establishment and media, repetition of “safe and effective”, and the gaslighting that’s gone on,’ summarises Malhotra.

To break free will not be easy.


17 February, 2023

Republicans Launch Next COVID-19 Origins Inquiry---Lab Leak Theory Becomes Likely Suspect

What is the origin of SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind COVID-19? An important question, it has yet to be answered. The Chinese government doesn’t seem keen on helping the world figure this vexing problem out, and neither does the World Health Organization (WHO). In fact, when the WHO first investigated, they sent the head of EcoHealth Alliance as the sole representative of America and not surprisingly, found nothing.

As reported recently by Smriti Mallapaty, writing for Nature, the WHO has abandoned any initiative to further investigate the origins of SARS-CoV-2 in China. Just at a critical time to further the investigation, the prominent medical journal reports that WHO has “quietly shelved the second phase of its much-anticipated scientific investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.” The reason for the not-at-all-surprising cancellation, difficulties of such an investigation in China---not an open place to do a deep investigation into potential government conspiracies.

But the GOP with its slight majority continues to push forward. Both Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio), Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic Chairman and James Comer (R-KY), House Committee on Oversight and Accountability now request senior Biden Administration officials including Dr. Anthony Fauci as well as Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance, to provide sufficient information to the Select Subcommittee and Oversight Committee’s investigation into COVID origins.

This effort at obtaining information to support the investigation isn’t new. To the GOP’s credit, they seem to be the only party that cares about this critical topic. For example, the most recent actions follow up on a request on December 13, 2022, for the same materials (documents, information, and testimony). How can so many politicians, health-focused agencies and authorities, academic medical centers, and health systems not be interested in pursuing this absolutely vital question? Could the topic have been politicized on purpose by underlying forces, part of some deeper more nefarious agenda?

As reported by the Congressional Committee, the 117th Congress Oversight Committee Republicans sent numerous letters to officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The Committee’s investigation has already uncovered three facts driving further investigation:

Growing evidence shows COVID-19 likely originated from the Wuhan Lab and the Chinese Communist Party covered it up
U.S. taxpayer dollars were being funneled into the Wuhan Lab to conduct risky gain-of-function research on novel bat coronaviruses

Dr. Fauci was aware of this information at the start of the pandemic and may have acted to conceal the information by intentionally downplaying the lab leak theory.
Of course, more information is needed to not only probe this critically important matter but also to inform legislative activity.

TrialSite has accumulated substantial information in the form of emails, data, documents, and insights from experts to suggest the lab leak theory is likely.

Interestingly enough, the censorship apparatus put in place during the pandemic (or perhaps, intensified since then) is real, and hence why the agreement to join the lawsuit targeting the Trusted News Initiative. See the coverage of that lawsuit. The basis of the lawsuit isn’t freedom of the press but rather antitrust violations.

While there most certainly is plenty of misinformation, disinformation, and frankly, loony information circulating about, that all serves as a convenient cover, distracting those that track such matters from pursuing the real important evidential pathways.

Chairman Comer recently got right to the point on this historical matter: “Understanding the origins of COVID-19 is essential to providing accountability and protecting Americans in the future.” Given TrialSite’s global focus as well, we would add all people around the world given 6.8 million people worldwide died due to this virus according to WHO. Comer continued:

“Evidence continues to mount pointing to the virus leaking from an unsecure lab in Wuhan. We know EcoHealth Alliance acted as a go-between, improperly funneling thousands of taxpayer dollars to the Wuhan lab to conduct risky gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses which could have started the pandemic. Dr. Fauci was alerted early on that COVID-19 had markings of a manipulated virus yet may have chosen to cover it up instead of blowing the whistle. We will continue to follow the facts to determine what could have been done differently to better protect Americans from this virus and hold U.S. government officials that took part in any sort of cover-up accountable.”

According to Select Subcommittee Chairman Wenstrup:

“The American people deserve real answers after years of suffering through the Coronavirus pandemic and related government policies. This investigation must begin with where and how this virus came about so that we can attempt to predict, prepare, or prevent it from happening again. Government scientists and government-funded researchers have so far been less-than-forthcoming in their knowledge and actions, including work with the Wuhan Institute of Virology and potential pandemic pathogens. We can’t accept more years of stonewalling; the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic is committed to conducting a proper investigation that the American people have demanded.”

Could the Chinese cover-up hypothesis be the correct pathway of investigation? It most certainly is the top candidate. The first known outbreak occurred right in Wuhan, right near the Wuhan Institute of Virology which has benefited from U.S. funding via the EcoHealth Alliance intermediary. TrialSite has covered that consistently even when a mere mention of this topic would get one censored on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. An independent media platform with its own technology stack, TrialSite was able to continue investigational coverage into biomedical research-related topics despite what is clearly a massive censorship operation involving the U.S. government.

The first investigation into the origins, sponsored by WHO didn’t seem serious. They found nothing, and who was sent representing the United States? They sent Peter Daszak, head of EcoHealth Alliance! See multiple entries in TrialSite.

What about the DARPA memo? Originating from one of Project Veritas’ endeavors, nonetheless, the internal DoD memo declaring SARS-CoV-2 to be an American-originated technology appeared authentic. TrialSite reached out directly to DARPA and a top communications officer there responded promptly, declaring that they could not either verify or deny the allegation as to the document’s authenticity. Interestingly, however, the spokesperson did elaborate that they have not funded EcoHealth Alliance studies which we at TrialSite found quite interesting.

We have reported on troubling matters generally related to the topic. Recently, TrialSite reported a U.S. HHS Office of Inspector General audit finding that the NIH and EcoHealth Alliance failed to appropriately monitor U.S. taxpayer-funded coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The mainstream media avoided this highly relevant and timely topic, again interesting. In 2021, TrialSite reported on other evidence that EcoHealth Alliance and NIH acknowledged supporting some forms of gain-of-function research. By July 2021, TrialSite’s “Origins of the Pandemic are Elusive & Timeline Reveals Glimpse of Path into Better Tomorrow” probed the matter of SARS-CoV-2 origins, including breakthrough research of players like Ralph Baric, and collaborators in Wuhan, China.

But the answers are elusive, especially when it comes to matters touching on deep national security interests.


Misleading Trial Site Article Concerning Guillain Barre Syndrome Following mRNA Vaccinations

Neil Spielholz

The J&J vaccine was associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome but the mRNA vaccines were not

An Opinion Article entitled, “CDC Reports Hundreds of Guillain-Barré Cases with mRNA COVID-19 Vaccination” recently appeared in Trial Site News. Let’s review what this opinion article says, but more importantly, what it does not say.

The opinion article “summarizes” a paper by Abara et al, “Reports of Guillain-Barré Syndrome After COVID-19 Vaccination in the United States”. The opinion article’s title trumpets that “hundreds” of GBS cases have been reported. The actual number reported by Abara et al, is 211. These occurred from December 2020 through January 2022, and they occurred within 42 days of receiving either the BNT162b2 (n=104) or the mRNA-1273 (n=107) vaccine. (Note that for this communication, I am using just the cumulative number of GBS cases reported 42 days after vaccination. Abara et al, report number of cases 21 and 42 days after vaccination.)

But note that the opinion article omits mentioning that the main thrust of the Abara et al paper, was to compare the incidence of GBS in these two mRNA groups to a third group of 82 GBS patients that had received a non-mRNA vaccination, the Ad26.COV2.S [J & J] vaccine. This head-to-head incidence comparison was based on the total number of vaccine doses delivered between the start and stop dates of data collection in terms of “per 100,000 doses”. See the original paper for details.

So what did Abara et al, report, but was omitted in the opinion article?

The non-mRNA group had an incidence rate of 4.07 compared to 0.34 and 0.44 for the two mRNA groups. In other words, despite the "hundreds" of cases in the mRNA groups, these vaccines had a lower incidence rate of GBS than did the non-mRNA vaccine!

But this lack of information in the opinion article goes on. It neglects to tell readers that Abara et al, also performed an observed-to-expected ratio, where the incidence of GBS prior to the coronavirus pandemic was compared to the incidence found in these three groups. Indeed, Abara et al, report that the O-E ratios “were significantly increased” in the non-mRNA group, but NOT in either of the mRNA groups. Abara et al write, “These findings suggest that Ad26.COV2.S vaccination was associated with GBS and that GBS after BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 may represent background incidence.” No mention of this in the opinion article.

In their Discussion section, Abara et al, summarize these findings as follows: “In this retrospective cohort study, we identified 295 verified GBS cases among VAERS reports submitted from December 2020 through January 2022. GBS reporting after Ad26.COV2.S vaccination was approximately 9 to 12 times more common than after BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273 vaccination within 21-and 42-day post-vaccination intervals. Similarly, observed GBS cases after Ad26.COV2.S vaccination were 2 to 3 times greater than expected based on background within 21- and 42-day post-vaccination intervals. There was no significant difference between observed and expected numbers of GBS cases after either mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.”

Elsewhere, Abara et al, write, “No association between mRNA COVID-19 vaccinations and risk of GBS were observed.” (Emphasis mine).

None of this is mentioned in the Opinion Article.

One other point concerns the different death rates between the non-mRNA group and the two mRNA groups. Two deaths occurred in the non-mRNA group, and 8 (4 in each of the mRNA groups). Therefore, the death rate in the non-mRNA group was 2/82, or 2.4%, while in the two mRNA groups, the death rate was 8/211, or 3.8%. Does this 1.4% difference herald the death-knell for mRNA vaccinations? Not without more data.


16 February, 2023

Australian health agencies are inspiring misinformation on Covid vaccine injuries

The issue of Covid-19 vaccination injuries and deaths have been largely ignored by the media. It’s a dangerous business which allows misinformation to flourish.

There have been some notable exceptions.

Last month, Christine Middap’s sensitive article in The Weekend Australian included profiles of people who had suffered serious Covid-19 vaccine injury. And Chris Kenny recently drew attention to the problem in a thoughtful way on his program on Sky News.

The figures on vaccine related injury should be widely available, published by the Therapeutic Goods Administration to the point where even the incurious will have a broad understanding.

The compensation scheme, known as the Covid-19 Vaccine Claims Scheme is administered by Services Australia. The scheme was announced by then health minister Greg Hunt as the vaccines were rolled out in the first half of 2021. Therein lies an acknowledgment that Covid-19 vaccines were likely to cause injury and death in rare cases.

Less than 10 per cent of 3206 claims have been approved. Most of the remainder are still being considered.

These are Australians who have suffered injury as a result of taking the Covid vaccine and they should not be forgotten or cast into a bureaucratic abyss.

Even obtaining an official figure on vaccine related deaths is fraught. My understanding from the often tortured TGA’s reports is that 14 Australians have died from severe adverse reactions to Covid vaccines, nine from Astra-Zeneca and five from mRNA based vaccines, including Pfizer and Moderna. One of those five is an extraordinarily harrowing story of the death of a 21-year-old Melbourne woman in March 2021.

Those who suffered injury, and often extended periods of incapacity have been left to deal with the usual bureaucratic exercise that requires medical evidence, which may include but not be restricted to proof of hospital admission, sending the forms in, then sitting and waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

In the United States, a similarly convoluted compensation scheme is in place. The Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program is known to be a well-intentioned office but under-resourced and not fit for the purpose of dealing with thousands of claims and determining outcomes in a timely fashion.

At the end of 2022, there were more than 7500 claimants to the scheme. Some have been waiting for compensation for more than a year. I’ll leave it to the mathematicians to figure out the percentages of claims for Covid vaccine injury against the more than 600 million doses of the Covid vaccine administered in the US.

A void of information is filled with misinformation and the people perpetrating are armed and ready, bristling with falsehoods and deceit.

Stew Peters is a Minnesotan former bounty hunter who has developed a business model to achieve fame and fortune from the pandemic. He refers to Covid vaccines as “bioweapons”. Peters contends Covid vaccines are a means of global depopulation.

Peters’s pseudo-documentary, Died Suddenly, has been described as a “tsunami of anti-vax misinformation and conspiracy theories” by Science Based Medicine magazine. It has been viewed over 250,000 times on Rumble. The documentary makers were allowed to post the entire 69 minutes on Twitter.

The ersatz doco includes the appropriation of news items reporting on people who had suddenly died, many of which were probably not vaccine-related. Some of the sudden deaths exploited in Died Suddenly occurred before the pandemic.

Retired teacher turned writer in Los Angeles, Dolores Cruz, published an article in the Huffington Post about the grieving process she had undergone and written extensively about in two books. Her youngest son, Eric, had died in a car crash in 2017 at 24-years of age. The fake doco used a screenshot of the headline in the film, portraying his death as vaccine related.

It would be difficult to imagine more ghoulish behaviour. I reached out to Cruz recently, asking how she felt seeing Peters appropriate the death of her son.

“I want people to know that the suggestion that my son died from the Covid vaccine is completely false. I was angered to see that the title of the article I wrote for HuffPost was used in the documentary Died Suddenly. My article was about my grief and healing journey after my 24-year-old son died in a car accident in May of 2017 which was years before the pandemic began and has nothing to do with the Covid vaccine. The documentary has misappropriated how my son died and it hurts to have my son’s story used in this way,” she wrote.

But she was not surprised that it happened. “Though this has made me angry and caused hurt, sadly, false information runs rampant in the world today by way of news media, social media, and film and television.”

This fake documentary watched by a relatively small audience in global terms has now taken on a life of its own as a hashtag that runs across every possible social media platform, republishing every newspaper headline, every media article, small or large, where the phrase ‘died suddenly’ is mentioned and aggregates them to infer people have died suddenly from vaccine-related injury.

Liberal MP Russell Broadbent is advocating on behalf of the thousands of Australians who have experienced an adverse reaction after getting a… COVID-19 vaccination. “They feel … they are not being heard, they don’t feel like they are being justly treated by governments,” he told Sky News host More
On Saturday February 13, a Belgian goalkeeper, Arne Espeel, died suddenly while playing in the second division league in Belgium for Winkel Sport B. According to reports, Espeel made a save and then collapsed. He was attended to by a doctor at the ground and a defibrillator was used. The attempts to save his life failed and he was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

And there it was again. A flurry of Died Suddenly hashtags amid anti-vax comments on social media.

Espeel’s sudden death comes after a bogus review announced that 108 footballers had died suddenly in 2021. The original report was published in Hebrew but was subject to a Reuters Fact Check that found that, of the 108, only a few died playing soccer. There were archers, American footballers, hockey players – both on ice rinks and on fields, rugby league and union footballers. Some were not playing at all, including a cricket coach, and a golf caddie.

What the misinfo shouters didn’t account for is that FIFA established a sudden death register in 2014 due to concerns that had risen over decades that men and women playing soccer were dying on the pitch at a fairly high rate.

In the five-year period 2014-2018, the sudden deaths of 617 footballers were registered with FIFA, on average 123 in any year. Elite players were less likely to suffer sudden cardiac arrest due to elevated fitness levels and were more likely to survive these events due to the increased likelihood of being attended to by skilled first aid practitioners and the presence of defibrillators. Nevertheless, the study published in the British Medical Journal and peer reviewed found that five per cent of the 617 deaths came from the elite level.

Misinformation is easy to create and requires ten times the energy to refute. ‘Died suddenly’ should not be a loaded term but that’s where we are now.

The issue of proper and prompt redress to people who have suffered Covid vaccine injury and those who spread misinformation is deeply entwined. Morally, those who have suffered injury should not be pushed into the shadows, collateral casualties of a rush to vaccinate. But more so, the vacuum created by bureaucratic babble and evasion will always be filled by misinformation. The truth gets left dazed and bruised by the roadside.


15 February, 2023

Medicaid has expanded by 20 million during Covid

Keeping a lot of people out of the workforce

By Robert Romano

Since Feb. 2020, thanks to the “continuous enrollment” in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which prohibited states from disenrolling Medicaid patients when they no longer qualify on the basis of income, Medicaid enrollment has skyrocketed by 20.2 million to more than 91 million since Feb. 2020, according to the latest data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) compiled by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The mechanism for the expansion was temporary Covid unemployment, when 25 million jobs were lost in the blink of an eye, resulting in lapses in private insurance. When patients got Covid and went to the hospital and other medical providers, this resulted in automatic enrollment so providers could get paid.

The largest increases came from California (2.3 million), Texas (1.5 million), New York (1.3 million) and Florida (1.2 million). With 2.7 million in Texas and Florida alone, were Republican governors Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis ever made aware of this provision? What about state Republican lawmakers?

Reviewing the gubernatorial websites in Texas and Florida, as well as the official Twitter feeds of both governors, I cannot find a single statement either opposing the “continuous enrollment” provision—which left recipients in state Medicaid programs long after they had returned to work—or even acknowledging it or the rapid expansion of their state’s Medicaid programs.

In fact, the 20 million added during the Covid Medicaid expansion was even larger than the expansion that ultimately occurred under the Affordable Care Act from 2010 to 2019, when the number went from 56 million before the Affordable Care Act was passed, to 71 million in 2019. In 2020 the economy tanked, unemployment skyrocketed and Medicaid enrollment exploded.

That would have happened anyway. The consequential provision was the “continuous enrollment” that prohibited states like Texas and Florida from recertifying patients’ income as was required under prior law.

How is that possible? Maybe someone should ask them. I personally only discovered it when I learned of the disenrollments that are set to begin after March 31 thanks to a provision in the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill.

And yet the federal government wasn’t hiding it. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services were publishing Medicaid enrollment snapshots under the provision dating back to June 2020.

A Jan. 19 piece from Orlando Sentinel appears to show Florida State House Republicans were similarly not made aware of Medicaid expansion in Florida until the Medicaid disenrollments began, with House Health & Human Services Chairman Randy Fine, (R-Brevard County) stating after being briefed in committee: “The federal government during the pandemic said once you are on, it’s like being on the Supreme Court — you can’t get kicked off… And so we have people who qualified at one moment in time but do not qualify today.”

But they weren’t alone. In my prior look at the issue, I couldn’t find a single statement by House or Senate Republicans specifically about the continuous enrollment provision. There was a House Republican Oversight Committee letter about potential improper payments to Medicaid during Covid in Aug. 2021, but with no mention of the program’s expansion. By then, the program had already expanded by 13 million.

The problem appears to be an apparent lack of information and institutional knowledge by Republicans in Congress, legislatures and state governor’s mansions. In the old king’s cabinet in Great Britain, there was the saying that “the king could do no wrong.” That, if something went wrong, it could not be because of his own failures, but because he had been given poor advice. But that might be too charitable in this case.

The data was there to be found, but you had to know to go look for it.

Moreover, Republicans were complaining about many of the other governmental expansions in the health system during Covid. They opposed Medicaid expansion for more than a decade under the Affordable Care Act, and here was a backdoor expansion of socialized medicine that dwarfed the program’s prior expansion.

Are the GOP elected branches so disconnected from the professional, permanent, administrative state that during Covid they appear to have been asleep at the switch?

And now, states will have to come up with plans to begin disenrollment, which the Department of Health and Human Services says could impact up to 15 million recipients, assuming they went back to work and no longer qualify.

What preparations were made to disenroll these patients from Medicaid at the state level? This is a question for all 50 state governors, not simply Republican governors who you think would have opposed this.

The fact is, even the Medicaid disenrollments will tax state public health systems, too, as resources will have to go to tracking down eligibility. The amount of fraud in the disenrollments alone could be gargantuan, as now there is a perverse incentive to conceal income, but red states might have been ready for it — if they knew about it. The question is, did they know?


Substantial Meta-Analysis Reveals COVID-19 Vaccine Waning Effectiveness—Further Decline of Performance During Omicron

Canadian researchers affiliated with Concordia University in Montreal conducted a systematic meta-analysis covering what they refer to as living evidence synthesis tracking COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness and durability data associated with the COVID-19 vaccines.

But what is this “living review?” The study team represented by corresponding author Prof. Simon Bacon, PhD, FTOS, FCCS, FABMR, an expert in health behavior report they first search for studies published until September 10, 2021, and thereafter updated the ongoing search on November 19, 2021. Then, beginning on February 25, 2022, the French-Canadian study team updated the synthesis each four weeks until the 13th synthesis when they reported final results.

The group did add additional information including data from the booster studies as well as variant updates. Their work was sponsored by both Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Public Health Agency of Canada. The evolving findings reveal vaccine effectiveness decreases over time against SARS-CoV-2 infections, hospitalizations, and mortality. This shows durability challenges are a real factor.

Importantly, the overall vaccine quality as measured as effectiveness against Omicron further degraded as compared to other variants of concern as has been evidenced in dozens of other studies chronicled by TrialSite.

The study authors all but concede that the COVID-19 vaccination program as a means by itself isn’t sufficient due to waning effectiveness

What did the authors find?

Out of 16,696 records at the title and abstract level, the group studied 832 full texts, ultimately including 72 (0.4%) studies and excluding five of them for a risk of bias, a total of 68 studies were extracted for analysis.

But the above numbers are across previous variants of concern. What about the Omicron variant which has been in circulation in one form or another for late 2021 and all of 2022 and into 2023?

The study authors report they had not been able to accumulate sufficient data to track mortality data during the Omicron period.


This study team embraced three-level meta-analytic models which evidenced “marked decreases over time in vaccine effectiveness for SARS-CoV-2 infections for both primary series and booster, and a smaller decrease for hospitalizations and mortality.”

Overall vaccine performance degraded against Omicron due to the mutational changes and ability to better evade vaccine-induced antibodies. The authors extend the necessary statement that “vaccination continues to be an effective measure over time to reduce COVID-19 hospitalizations and mortality,” but they do acknowledge the case doesn’t look great for infections.

The vaccines did help reduce the sharp edges of the pandemic’s deadly knife by temporarily boosting antibody defense in humans, thereby in surges reducing hospitalization and death rates.

But this doesn’t last long and the prospect of boosts every half a year with these vaccines is unlikely—the long-term health effects haven’t been studied. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are recommending that they go on the standard immunization schedule meaning they become comparable to the recommended influenza vaccine once per year.

It’s known that the present SARS-CoV-2 vaccines are not sterilizing and already Dr. Anthony Fauci and cohorts published a piece declaring the need to advance beyond the current vaccines to consider intranasal mucosal vaccine development among other activities.


14 February, 2023

Booster Shots May Trigger Stroke Incidents, According to CDC and FDA

In addition to cardiac events, another life-threatening side effect has been associated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. When is the risk period? Does the flu shot play any role in these events? What actions should we take to better protect ourselves?

Summary of Key Facts

An increased risk of stroke events has been identified with the Pfizer COVID-19 bivalent vaccine, according to a joint statement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The onset time in people aged 65 years and older was 1–21 days after the booster, with a significant cluster of events observed 11–21 days after the booster.

Sixty-four percent had received the flu vaccine on the same day as the COVID-19 booster.

The bivalent booster contains the code of the spike protein, contributing to the increased risk of blood clots. High-risk people should avoid the boosters.

Solution: Remember the five “suddens” of stroke warning signs.

Advice on preventing other risk factors of stroke is also provided in this paper.

On Jan. 13, 2023, the FDA and CDC issued a joint statement that a new “safety signal” for ischemic stroke had been detected in one of the agency’s vaccine safety surveillance systems.

The statement read, in part: “CDC’s Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD), a near real-time surveillance system, met the statistical criteria to prompt additional investigation into whether there was a safety concern for ischemic stroke in people ages 65 and older who received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine bivalent.”

The VSD system monitors the electronic health records of 12.5 million Americans served by nine integrated health systems.

The CDC stated that no other safety databases had detected this signal (including the Medicare and Veterans Affairs data sets). Pfizer released a statement that it had not detected this signal in its databases, and no other countries have found a similar signal in their monitoring systems.

The clot risk appears to be greater on days 11–21 after receiving the booster, especially for those who received a high-dose or adjuvant flu vaccine on the same day.

A follow-up meeting was held on Jan. 26, 2023. Despite the identified risk, the CDC continues to recommend booster shots for all people over six months of age.

Increased Risk of Stroke Mostly Found 11 to 21 Days After Booster

The findings presented on Jan. 26, 2023, suggest that more stroke events occurred during days 1–21 post-vaccination than days 22–42 after receiving the shot.

People aged 65 or older who received the Pfizer bivalent booster experienced 130 events during the “risk interval” (1–21 days after the booster) and 92 events during the “comparison interval” (22–42 days after the booster). There was a 47 percent increased risk of ischemic stroke during 1-21 days post-booster, compared to those events occurring during 22-42 days post-booster, with a p = 0.005. In studies, when the P value is less than 0.05, it means the difference is statistically significant.

It is important to note that stroke events occurred throughout the entire 42-day follow-up period after the booster; a cluster of stroke events occurred between 11 and 21 days after receiving the booster.

In a preliminary review of 22 stroke cases in people 65 years or older on days 11–21 after receiving the booster, none of the individuals had a previous history of transient ischemic attack (TIA). Sixty-four percent received the flu vaccine on the same day as the COVID-19 booster (13 high-dose flu vaccines and one adjuvant flu vaccine).

Outcome data of these events shows that 59 percent of the people who experienced a TIA were discharged home, 18 percent were discharged with home health, nine percent were discharged to a skilled nursing facility, and 14 percent (three of the 22) died. The CDC notes that one death was likely related to a stroke.

No safety signal was detected in the VSD database for Moderna; however, the VAERS reported stroke cases related to the Moderna booster. The difference could be due to the number of booster doses administered for the two vaccines. Nearly twice as many Pfizer booster doses had been given as Moderna (549,943 vs. 285,706) as of Jan. 7, 2023.

As of Jan. 8, 2023, 40 ischemic stroke/transient ischemic attack cases after the bivalent COVID-19 mRNA vaccination were detected in the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). The median age was 74 years. Nineteen were males, and 21 were females. The median time to onset was four days. Twenty-five cases occurred after the Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent vaccine, and 15 occurred after the Moderna bivalent vaccine.

Receiving a Flu Shot on the Same Day as the Booster Increases Risk

VSD data analysis showed that three people experienced a stroke after receiving the Pfizer booster and a standard dose of flu vaccine on the same day. By contrast, 40 people who received the Pfizer booster and a high-dose or adjuvant flu vaccine on the same day experienced a stroke. Sixty older adults experienced a stroke after receiving only the COVID-19 booster.

Receiving a high dose or adjuvanted flu shot on the same day seemed to double the risk of stroke.

The spike protein in the SARS-CoV-2 virus can significantly increase the risk of arterial and venous clots. A database analysis of 48 million individuals in the United Kingdom found an increased risk of ischemic stroke, especially in the first weeks after COVID-19 infection.

The mRNA vaccine also produces the spike protein. The bivalent booster contains the code for two strains of the spike protein (original Wuhan strain and BA.4/BA.5).

Your blood contains platelets, which form clots to stop bleeding after an injury. The S1 unit of the spike protein hyperactivates these platelets. This can cause the blood to form tiny clots after infection or vaccination. These blockages in blood flow can cause problems throughout the body’s tissues and organs.

The flu shot increases the risk of stroke, possibly because the vaccine provokes an inflammatory response. This increases the risk of ischemic stroke, especially in people with pre-existing coagulation abnormalities. A report from Taiwan indicated that a 75-year-old male patient suffered posterior circulation ischemia after an influenza A/H1N1 vaccination.

Remember the ‘FAST’ Rule

Ischemic stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks or narrows an artery that leads to or is inside the brain. A blood clot often forms in arteries damaged by the buildup of plaques (atherosclerosis). It can occur in the carotid artery of the neck as well as in other arteries.

After vaccination—at a very rare rate—if an adverse stroke event does appear, what signs can alert you in time?

There are five “suddens” of stroke warning signs. If you observe one or more of these signs of a stroke, don’t wait; call a doctor or 911 immediately!

Sudden numbness, weakness, or tingling of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body

Sudden confusion, drowsiness, or trouble talking or understanding speech

Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes, or double vision

Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination

Sudden severe headache, nausea, or vomiting with no known cause

Sometimes the signs may last only a few moments and then disappear. These episodes, known as transient ischemic attacks or TIAs, are called “mini-strokes.” Paying attention to them can be life-saving.

Remember the FAST (face, arm, speech, time) rule.

F ace drooping? Can’t smile
A rm weakness? Can’t raise above head
S peech difficulty? Can’t repeat simple nursery rhyme
T ime to call 911.

One or more of these signs—face weakness, arm weakness, and speech difficulty—are present in 88 percent of all strokes and TIAs. Getting to an emergency room quickly can save your life or the life of a loved one.

An intravenous injection of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA) is the gold standard treatment for selected patients with ischemic stroke. An injection of TPA is usually given through a vein in the arm within the first three hours after a stroke.

Arriving at an emergency room as quickly as possible after noticing symptoms is critical to reducing the odds of disability. A successful rescue of stroke patients includes early identification of signs of stroke and medical care within the first hour of acute stroke.

Recommendations on Vaccinations

It may not be advisable for individuals vaccinated against COVID-19 and who experienced a stroke to take extra COVID-19 jabs such as boosters.

For now, this safety signal looks like a worrisome association with vaccination. Elderly individuals at high risk for severe COVID-19 should check with their physicians for the most appropriate guidance tailored to their risks, given that COVID-19 also increases the risk of stroke and other cardiovascular events for months after infection.

Carefully monitor individuals who received the COVID-19 vaccine or flu vaccine, especially those with high ischemic stroke risk.


13 February, 2023

Unmasked: the failure of Covid mandates

No nation forced masks on people with as much zeal as the US, whose libertarian reputation belied pockets of maniacal health authoritarianism unknown in Australia or even Europe.

The US, uniquely among advanced nations, forced masks on children aged two and up, something not even Victoria countenanced at the height of the great madness.

Today, still, after the vast bulk of Americans has sheepishly consigned masks to the bin, school students in Michigan and Massachusetts are required to mask up in class, despite mounting evidence that masks stunt childhood development.

In that context, a new, rigorous study that found masks did nothing to slow Covid-19 might have made the news. But no; a 305-page Cochrane analysis published globally on January 30 that assessed 78 high-quality scientific studies that included more than 610,000 participants has yet to rate a single mention in The Washington Post, The New York Times or on CNN, for instance.

Even passionate maskers, such as Baltimore epidemiologist Jennifer Nuzzo, conceded Cochrane reviews were the “gold standard” of evidence-based medicine and its latest mask study “a very serious undertaking”.

Cochrane found that surgical masks, the kind doctors wear in operating theatres to avoid accidentally sneezing into an open wound, did nothing to stop Covid-19.

More embarrassing for Team Mask, those even more uncomfortable N95 masks made little to no difference either. Only hand washing seemed to work to prevent the spread of corona and influenza-like viruses.

“There is just no evidence masks make any difference. Full stop,” University of Oxford associate tutor Tom Jefferson, one of the study’s 12 authors, told Australian journalist Maryanne Demasi last week.

“In the absence of evidence, you shouldn’t be forcing anybody to do so,” he said, describing advocates of forced masking as “activists, not scientists”.

It turns out the billions upon billions of masks that were manufactured in response to government mandates and now are floating in oceans or piling up at rubbish tips were likely to have been a colossal waste. American multinational 3M alone produced 4.5 billion N95 masks in 2020 and 2021, according to Statista; the mind boggles at what the global total for all masks might be.

“Governments completely failed to do the right thing and demand better evidence,” Jefferson says. “At the beginning of the pandemic there were some voices who said masks did not work and then suddenly the narrative changed.”

Thankfully, the narrative is changing again, in part to a US House of Representatives Repub­lican majority that is determined to probe some of the madder aspects of the great madness.

“I had doctors who spent years in medicine telling me masks were not effective, and yet these were being forced on people and school kids,” Republican congressman Gary Palmer said last week at a congressional hearing that included US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky. “We’re seeing a devastating impact on their educational attainment, so it surprises me that the CDC didn’t do any follow-up testing even while this was going on.”

Surprisingly, no government health agency in the US or elsewhere bothered to conduct any randomised control trial of what was a highly divisive intervention that pre-2020 science had counselled against.

Walensky said she didn’t rate the latest Cochrane study because it analysed only the highest quality mask studies. “I’m not sure anybody would have proposed a clinical trial because so many studies demonstrated time and time again … masks were working,” she said in reply, referring to studies that would have been deemed junk before 2020.

Indeed, none of the findings in the latest Cochrane review should have been a surprise. The overwhelming consensus among scientists pre-Covid-19 was that forcing healthy people to wear masks, let alone outside, was pointless and potentially harmful. Minuscule viruses would slip through the tiny holes in the masks or simply go around them.

As late as March 31, 2020, the World Health Organisation was sticking to the old science.

“There is no specific evidence to suggest that the wearing of masks by the mass population has any potential benefit. In fact, there’s some evidence to suggest the opposite in the misuse of wearing a mask properly or fitting it properly,” WHO health emergencies program executive director Mike Ryan told journalists.

But a few weeks later, following a total of zero new studies, “the science” had emerged in all its authoritarian glory, deeming masks effective and forcing them on hundreds of millions of people against their will for up to two years. Masks might have failed totally at stopping Covid-19 surges in every nation that implemented them, but they were highly successful on one metric: stoking fear, providing an in-your-face, everyday reminder of the pandemic that might increase compliance with other measures.

At the same time the incentive structure for researchers, who previously had toiled largely in obscurity, changed dramatically in the first half of 2020. Fame, speaking fees, academic promotion – all were in the offing for the canny researcher who could help demonise anyone who pointed to pre-2020 science or simply preferred to risk getting a bad cold rather than wear a mask.

Governments and their media cheer squad were eager to promote studies that vindicated mandatory masking.

That’s what explains the contemptible silence following the latest Cochrane review.

Wearing a mask sent a powerful message throughout the pandemic: I follow the science. Increasingly, it’s sending a different one: I’m a credulous goose. Or perhaps even, following new research in Frontiers in Psychology published last month: I’m not very attractive.

“Our results consistently demonstrated that self-perceived unattractive individuals were more willing to wear a mask, as they believed it would benefit their attractiveness,” the authors concluded.

To be sure, it wasn’t a randomised control trial but it reveals at least as much truth as any post-2020 study telling you masks worked.


Covid’s devastating impact on the heart as lockdowns take a triple toll on the health of the nation

New heart research confirms fears COVID-19 has taken a devastating toll on the health of Australians after confining them indoors, deprived of opportunities to exercise and exposed to poor diets and sleep routines.

Almost half of more than 6000 people who have undergone Victor Chang Heart Health Checks since the start of the pandemic have recorded results considered outside the healthy range.

A specialist team which conducts a mobile testing service across Australia has found cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure levels all significantly higher since COVID arrived.

The number of people having at least one test result outside the healthy range since March 2020 increased from 33 per cent to 47 per cent - a relative jump of more than 40 per cent.

Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute Program manager Anastasia Dounas says for many the COVID effect was real and of serious concern. 'They got out of the habit of going to the gym during lockdown and ate and drank more because they were worried and stressed, leading to weight gain,' she said.

'Working from home also led to less incidental exercise and the fear of COVID saw more people choosing to drive to work than catching public transport which resulted in people taking fewer steps each day. 'That all adds up.'

Since the launch of the heart check program in 2011 until the onset of COVID in 2020, more than 76,000 participants have been tested with just over a third having one or more results outside the normal healthy range and advised to follow up with a GP.

Within this group, eight per cent were beyond the healthy limit for blood pressure and blood sugar, and almost 30 per cent for cholesterol.

Since March 2020, 6182 participants have been tested with just over 47 per cent having one or more results outside the healthy range and advised to see their doctor.

Of these, 15 per cent were on the wrong side of healthy for blood pressure, 10.5 per cent for blood sugar and 32 per cent for cholesterol.

Heart check nurse Clare Lennon said it was more important than ever to be assessed and start re-engaging with exercise and a healthy diet.

'Heart health checks are vital in revealing if you are at risk of heart disease but can also help prevent it,' she said.

'Lifestyle changes or medications can make a huge difference to risk factors but you need to be aware of whether you have high cholesterol, blood pressure, or blood sugar to begin with.'


12 February, 2023

CDC Adds COVID-19 Vaccines to Child Immunization Schedule

This is alarming. How would you feel if your baby died of a shot? Vaccines can kill and a baby's immune system is immature so babies may be especially vulnerable

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) added COVID-19 vaccines to its routine immunization schedule for children and adults on Thursday, attracting criticism for the decision.

According to the CDC’s 2023 immunization schedule for children and adolescents, two or three doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been recommended beginning with infants who are just six months old. Children in the age group of 6 months to four years, and five years to 11 years are recommended COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna or Pfizer. Among children aged 12 to 18, Novavax vaccines are also recommended in addition to Pfizer and Moderna.

In the list for adults, two or three doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been recommended from the age of 19 years. The 2023 COVID-19 vaccine recommendation for kids and adults is included among other typically-recommended vaccines for measles, flu, rubella, and so on.

Advisers to the CDC in 2022 recommended adding the vaccines to the schedule.

Though the CDC has added COVID-19 vaccines to the recommended list, it has not mandated the vaccines. The agency does not have the authorization to do so, but local and state jurisdictions can, and many mandate most of the vaccines on the schedule. However, there are hardly any states that make flu vaccinations mandatory in public schools.

Lawyers have said they’ll sue any state that requires COVID-19 vaccination to attend school and many officials have vowed not to implement such a requirement.

The CDC’s move to add COVID-19 vaccines to immunization schedules has attracted criticism online.

“While I thought impossible for @CDCgov to lose anymore credibility—they decide to do this despite growing studies showing declining efficacy, no net benefit for majority of immunocompetent” individuals, anesthesiologist Megan Martin said in a Feb. 10 tweet.

Vaccine Injury Compensation For COVID-19

The children’s vaccine schedule points out that COVID-19 vaccines are not covered by the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), a no-fault alternative to the traditional legal system for resolving vaccine injury petitions.

Instead, COVID-19 vaccines authorized or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are covered by the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP).

Created in 2010, the CICP is a compensation program aimed at vaccines and medications which are developed as a response to any public health emergency.

Claimants must file a request for compensation within a year of being injected with the vaccine. The program, mostly intended for children’s vaccines, is known to be more arduous and less generous than VICP.

Without the development of a vaccine injury table by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the burden of proof lies with the petitioner and not the government to prove causation in order to establish eligibility.

An analysis by Bloomberg shows that while the average compensation payout under VICP is around $533,000, the payout under CICP is just above $200,000. VICP guarantees legal representation and hearing for claimants. Individuals applying under CICP do not get these benefits. While decisions made by VICP officials are made public, CICP decisions are never known.

“Agency officials decide the claims in secret, without the opportunity for injured individuals or their families to speak with or interact with decision makers,” Nora Freeman Engstrom, a professor at Stanford Law School who researches vaccine injury compensation programs, said to the outlet.

Since CICP decisions remain unpublished, “the public and researchers can’t know which adverse events were found with vaccines and which were not … This has the potential to stunt our understanding of these vaccines’ safety and efficacy,” she stated.

COVID-19 Vaccine Injuries

According to a recent study from the CDC, more than 1,600 children between the ages of five and 11 experienced a systemic reaction like diarrhea or fever after receiving a dose of COVID-19 vaccines.

Almost half of the children in the study who received updated Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were found to have experienced a systemic reaction, which is defined as “usually mild” reactions that last for multiple days. Systemic reactions are rated above local reactions on the severity scale, just below severe reactions.

In a Feb. 1 paper, the CDC reported that 73 cases of Guillain-Barre Syndrome were identified in adults within 42 days of taking a Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 shot.

The syndrome causes the body’s immune system to attack certain parts of the nervous system. Based on the usual annual rate of the syndrome, only 31 cases were expected.


Study: Heart attacks increased among young people post-COVID

What percentage of those who died were vaccinated is not said

A recent study has found that the number of deaths from heart attacks increased since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

The increase was more pronounced in people aged between 25 and 44. A 29.9% relative increase in heart attack deaths (about 30% higher than the predicted number) was observed in this age group over the first two years of the pandemic.

Cardiologist Dr. Susan Cheng, a study co-author, told TODAY, “Young people are obviously not really supposed to die of heart attack. They’re not really supposed to have heart attacks at all.”

The relative increase in heart attack deaths among adults between 45 and 64 was 19.6%, and 13.7% for adults 65 and older.

This increase also coincided with COVID-19 surges in the country. Los Angeles County paramedic Romeo Robles told TODAY that such surges would often lead to an increase in emergency calls related to heart issues, even among young people.

Cheng pointed out that the connection is surely “more than coincidental,” since COVID-19 can have a significant impact on the cardiovascular system. She said that the illness appears to increase “the stickiness of the blood,” the probability of “blood clot formation,” blood pressure spikes, and “an overwhelming stress.”

While the reason for the increased rate in young people is still unclear, the study authors posited a theory. Cheng said that young people were more likely to have stronger immune systems which could also lead to an excessive response to the virus.

A February 2022 study of over 150,000 individuals with COVID-19 revealed that COVID-19 survivors are at “substantial” risk of developing heart disease even a year after infection, regardless of their symptoms’ severity and risk factors.

Physician-scientist Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, a study co-author, estimated that around 4% of people who had COVID-19 will develop a heart issue that ranges from an irregular heartbeat and inflammation to heart attacks and heart failure.

The risk also increases with each COVID-19 infection an individual experiences.

If you have been infected before, especially multiple times, Cheng advised improving your health and monitoring your risk factors, such as blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol.

Heart attack signs to look out for include: pain, discomfort, or pressure in the chest area; pain or discomfort in the neck, jaw, or back; cold sweat; weakness, light-headedness, or fainting; and shortness of breath.

The study noted that the number of heart attacks has been previously decreasing in the country, but the trend increased again since the pandemic.

The study by Cedars Sinai hospital in Los Angeles was published in September 2022.


10 February, 2023

University of Sydney scientists make ‘crazy’ Covid-19 discovery

The COVID public health emergency is coming to an end, and even thought you might not have been following protocols recently, this will still affect you and your wallet.
Australian scientists have made an incredible discovery that could change the way we view Covid — and could explain why some people suffer serious illness with the virus, or even death, while others never get sick or appear symptomless.

University of Sydney researchers discovered a protein in the lung that blocks Covid infection and forms a natural protective barrier in the human body.

The naturally occurring protein, LRRC15, works by attaching itself to the virus, stopping Covid particles from binding with more vulnerable cells - as well as reducing the chance of infection.

The research offers a promising pathway to develop new drugs to prevent Covid or deal with fibrosis in the lungs.

The study led by Professor Greg Neely found that this new receptor acts by binding to the virus and sequestering it which reduces infection.

“For me, as an immunologist, the fact that there’s this natural immune receptor that we didn’t know about, that’s lining our lungs and blocks and controls viruses, that’s crazy interesting,” Professor Neely said.

“We can now use this new receptor design broad acting drugs that can block viral infection or even suppress lung fibrosis.”

How it works

The Covid-19 virus infects humans by using a spike protein to attach to a specific receptor in our cells. It primarily uses a protein called the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor to ender human cells.

Lung cells have high levels of ACE2 receptors, which is why the Covid-19 virus often causes severe problems in this organ.

Like AEC2, LRRC15 is a receptor for Covid meaning the virus can bind to it. But unlike ACE2, LRRC15 does not support infection.

It can however stick to the virus and immobilise it.

Researchers believe patients who died from Covid did not produce enough of the protein, or produced it too late to make a difference.

“We think it acts a bit like Velcro, molecular Velcro, in that it sticks to the spike of the virus and then pulls it away from the target cell types,” another researcher Dr Lipin Loo said.

The breakthrough comes as millions of Australians are now eligible for a fifth Covid vaccine within a fortnight.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation has recommended that all people aged 18 and over receive a top-up jab, no matter how many doses they’ve already received, as long as they have not been infected with the virus in the last six months.

Up to four million Australians are estimated to have been struck down with Covid-19 just in the past four months.

More than 2600 Australians have died with the virus since October. Around 800 of those deaths were aged care residents.


Can Plant Extracts Effectively Inhibit SARS-CoV-2—The Results of a Portugal Review Study Look Promising

Can natural products be used as a means of combating COVID-19? Afterall, plant-based chemistry has been at work in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for centuries, based on plants: long the source of individual molecules and extracts capable of inhibiting/neutralizing several microorganisms, including viruses.

In fact, natural extracts have demonstrated potential efficacy against various pathogens in the coronavirus families, although that fact isn’t touted much by mainstream media in the West. But plenty of misinformation associated with this topic continues to circulate across cyberspace. There are reasons medical products are tightly regulated at the national level.

Only after careful and systematic research demonstrating safety and effectiveness will such natural products be authorized by relevant authorities. In that spirit, recently, a group of collaborating scientists from Portugal, affiliated with the Mountain Research Institute and the Catholic University of Portugal (Center for Biotechnology and Fine Chemistry), investigated select plant metabolites and their potential therapeutic value targeting SARS-CoV, the virus behind COVID-19.

Of particular interest to the Portugal-based scientists, represented by corresponding author Lillian Barros, Ph.D., a biotech engineer with a focus on biotechnology and food chemistry, was a couple of molecules associated with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as the world’s biggest population depends heavily on this approach targeting COVID-19.

What are the primary strategies to inhibit or stop SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind COVID-19?

Researchers have determined a couple pathways for therapy to work, including 1) inhibiting of SARS-CoV-2 penetration by preventing SARS-CoV-2 S-ACE2 binding interactions and 2) the inhibiting of protease enzymes such as Mpro (main protease), 3CLpro (3C-like protease) and PLpro (papain-like protease).

Enter this investigation into plant metabolites targeting SARS-CoV-2

The study team centered their investigation on select plants associated with TCM, for example, and the derived molecules that can actually bind with glycoprotein and consequently stop membrane fusion included A) luteolin (11 µM) and TGG (tetra-O-galloyl-?-D-glucose, 5.0 µM), both taken from TCM that do bind with spike glycoprotein. The team looked at other plant-based molecules.

The study team used the SCOPUS database and associated software to better understand a relation between plants and SARS-CoV02. They report about 1504 documents surfaced based on targeted keywords from 2020 to 2022. Selecting output with at least one of the chosen search terms, the team used specialized software to organize output by relevance and relationship.

What’s interesting about plant-based molecules potentially capable of stopping what’s known as cysteine proteases?
It turns out that SARS-CoV-2 thrives thanks to an enzyme called 3CLpro, responsible for the processing of proteins essential for the novel coronaviruses thriving. Hence why, drugs such as Paxlovid fall in the class of 3CLpro inhibition.

Other inhibitors involving both PLpro and 3CLpro identified by the researchers include chalcones, especially chalcone 6 as well. Some properties associated with plans inhibit PLpro with more effectiveness—such as polyphenol compounds taken from the leaves of the paper mulberry tree native to eastern Asia.

Overall, the team reported in their paper published in MDPI that of the compounds studied, Papyriflavonol A shows superior ability to inhibit PLpro enzyme. While one compound could inhibit both the relevant proteins—PLpro and 3CLpro: Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge-derived lipophilic tanshinones.

The researchers analyze the plant-based metabolites’ potential for contributing to regimen targeting SARS-CoV-2, including several other examples.

What’s a takeaway?

The scientific literature suggests a definite therapeutic value associated with certain plant extracts, including ones involved in TCM, targeting SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind COVID-19. The Portuguese researchers document a particular interest in bioactive molecules such as alkaloid compounds as well as phenolic substances from chalcones and flavonoids to tannins and lignins to glycosides.

Likely, with targeted focus and investment in this plant-based medicinal approach, companies focusing on this area could offer substantially safe and effective, not to mention economical treatments against COVID-19. But would this fit into the biopharmaceutical business model?


9 February, 2023

CDC Retrospective Cohort Study: Janssen COVID-19 Vaccines Increases Risk of Guillain–Barré syndrome

Mounting evidence suggests that the COVID-19 vaccines can, on rare occasions, lead to a rare autoimmune condition associated with Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS). Associated with muscle weakness, this typically virus-originated disease can lead to paralysis, and even death in a minority of cases. GBS has been associated with other vaccines, but it is typically a rare occurrence, and the public benefit of vaccines according to health authorities such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outweigh rare risks such as GBS.

Recently, physician-scientists affiliated with both the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) analyzed in a retrospective cohort study whether COVID-19 vaccines, including Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT162b2), Moderna (mRNA-1273), and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen (Ad26.COV2.S) associated with GBS in the period of 21 or 42 days post the vaccination. Tapping into and analyzing data associated with the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), the investigators analyzed and verified cases of GBS after the COVID-19 jab in Americans aged 18 and above. The CDC and FDA team have gone on the record with this study result that the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine (Ad26.COV2.S) associates with an increased risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Importantly, the study authors report that based on this observational study, there is no association between mRNA COVID-19 vaccination and GBS. The investigators do acknowledge that VAERS is subject to underreporting.

The Condition

With rapid-onset muscle weakness triggered by the immune system damaging the peripheral nervous system, Guillain–Barré Syndrome most often impacts both sides of the body. Typically starting with changes in sensation or pain often in the back along with muscle weakness, it can also start in the hands and feet and spread up the arms or upper body. These symptoms can last for hours or even weeks and during an acute phase, the disease can lead to hospitalization and death. About 15% of acute cases involve a debilitation of breathing muscles leading to the need for mechanical ventilation. The condition may lead to potentially deadly abnormalities associated with heart rate and blood pressure.

GBS occurs throughout the world with a median annual incidence of 1.3 cases per population of 100 000, with men being more frequently affected than women. GBS is considered to be an autoimmune disease triggered by a preceding bacterial or viral infection. About 3,000 to 6,000 cases are diagnosed annually in America.

Study Data

This retrospective cohort study was conducted using US VAERS reports submitted during December 2020 to January 2022. GBS case reports verified as meeting the Brighton Collaboration case definition for GBS in US adults after COVID-19 vaccination were included.

Represented by corresponding author Winston E. Abara, CDC, the study team reported in JAMA that they found a total of 295 validated GBS reports post the COVID-19 jab. What was the average age of individuals afflicted with GBS post the vaccination? Average age was 59 years, and males represented 57.3% of the study subjects.

Out of all the injured, 275 representing 93.2% of the total were hospitalized, while 209 of the incidents happened within 21 days of the subject receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Another 253 of the safety incidents occurred within 42 days post the COVID-19 vaccine jab.

GBS was more frequently reported within 21 days after Ad26.COV2.S than after BNT162b2 (RRR = 11.40; 95% CI, 8.11-15.99) or mRNA-1273 (RRR = 9.26; 95% CI, 6.57-13.07) vaccination.

The CDC and FDA team have gone on the record with the study results that the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine (Ad26.COV2.S) associates with an increased risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome.


Bivalent COVID Vaccines Perform Worse Against Variant Now Dominant in United States

The new COVID-19 vaccines don’t work as well against XBB.1.5, the virus variant that’s now dominant in the United States, according to multiple studies.

In one of the papers, researchers found the vaccines boosted neutralizing antibodies, believed to be a measure of protection, but that the antibody levels declined to previous levels within three months.

Compared to the antibody responses to BA.5, the responses to XBB.1.5 were reduced 20-fold.

“Following bivalent mRNA boosting, responses to XBB.1.5 increase but remain low and wane within 3 months back to pre-boost levels. These data suggest that once a year boosters with the current mRNA vaccines may not provide adequate protection for an entire year for those at high risk of complications of COVID-19,” Dr. Dan Barouch, director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and a co-author of the preprint study (pdf), told The Epoch Times via email.

The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines both utilize messenger RNA, or mRNA, technology. The updated versions of the vaccines are bivalent, targeting the Wuhan variant and a sublineage of the BA.4 and BA.5 strain. The new versions were cleared as boosters in the fall of 2022 despite no clinical data being available. They are poised to replace the original vaccines.

Other studies have also found that the bivalents induce a better response than the old, monovalent boosters, but that the response is reduced against XBB.1.5 or its parent, XBB, which comes from BA.2 lineages.

Researchers with Pfizer and Pfizer partners, for instance, reported recently that the antibody levels were the lowest against XBB.1.5, and were particularly low among people without evidence of prior infection. Similarly, researchers with the U.S. National Institutes of Health and other institutions concluded (pdf) that “the lowest titers were observed against XBB.1” and researchers with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) detected (pdf) “low activity” against XBB.1. And Japanese scientists also observed a reduction in neutralizing power.

A group of Chinese researchers, who reported evidence that XBB.1.5 can more easily evade protection, said that the circulation of the strain “needs to be closely monitored, and the development of effective neutralizing antibodies and vaccines against XBB.1.5 is urgently needed.”

“Based on its genetic characteristics and growth rate estimates, XBB.1.5 is likely to contribute to increases in case incidence globally. There is moderate-strength evidence for increased risk of transmission and immune escape. From reports by several countries, no early signals of increases in severity have been observed,” the World Health Organization stated in a risk assessment (pdf), though it acknowledged that the low number of cases caused by the strain does not enable a confident assessment of severity.

New York officials claimed in January that XBB.1.5 “may be more likely to infect people who have been vaccinated or already had COVID-19,” later adding that they meant compared to prior variants. When asked for evidence to back up the claim, a spokesperson declined to provide any.

Authorization Revoked as XBB Becomes Dominant
Regulators have not yet altered authorizations or approvals for vaccines, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yanked authorization for Evusheld, a monoclonal antibody treatment, because it said the drug wouldn’t work against XBB.1.5 and other emerging subvariants.

XBB.1.5, an Omicron subvariant like BA.5, was estimated to be behind 66.4 percent of the COVID-19 cases in the United States in the week ending Feb. 4, according to genomic sequencing and other data.

BA.5 was the dominant strain until late 2022, when it was displaced by BQ.1.1 and BQ.1. Those Omicron subvariants make up about a quarter of the cases.

The bivalent vaccines were cleared in part because the vaccines had been performing increasingly worse against Omicron and its subvariants. Regulators chose not to wait for clinical data despite widespread warnings that authorizing the shots without the data would further undermine confidence in the COVID-19 vaccines.

The FDA met with its advisory panel in January but none of the vaccine makers that made presentations during the meeting, including Pfizer and Moderna, presented clinical efficacy data. Officials from the companies alleged that testing data indicated the vaccines work against XBB.

CDC Data

CDC researchers, drawing from testing data, estimated similar vaccine effectiveness (VE) against XBB and BA.5.

For people aged 18 to 49, for instance, the relative effectiveness against symptomatic infection was estimated at 52 percent two to three months after a bivalent booster against the latter and 48 percent against the former.

Relative effectiveness means effectiveness beyond the initial shots, which provide little protection against symptomatic infection.

“‘Generally, VE against symptomatic infection is similar for the two sub lineages and across age groups,” Dr. Ruth Link-Gelles, a CDC researcher and co-author of the report, told the FDA’s advisory panel.

“We’re continuing to monitor this as XBB.1.5 continues to increase nationally,” she added.

Researchers drew from the Increasing Community Access to Testing program, which provides free COVID-19 testing at CBS, Walmart, and other places.


8 February, 2023

California ‘Quietly’ Drops Student COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

While California’s government is celebrated by some for its commitment to contain and combat COVID-19, many critics have suggested the various governmental and public units, from state offices to universities and school districts, went too far during the COVID-19 response, representing an overreach of constitutional norms and mores. While Gavin Newsom, the Governor of the state, announced a universal COVID-19 vaccination policy by October 2021 (it would eventually apply to 6.7 million public and private school children), the Golden State became one of the first states where school districts proactively pushed universal COVID-19 mandates for children as soon as the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine BNT162b2 was formally approved (albeit there was nothing usual about how the controversial vaccine was approved).

Now with the science clearly pointing to the reality that the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are not only non-sterilizing but also lack breadth in response to various mutations and durability, the Los Angeles Times and other media report that the state has quietly dropped the student COVID-19 vaccine mandate as the state emergency is planned to end February 28. The national public health emergency is scheduled to end by May 11.

Apparently, the mandate was put on hold in April 2022 by the Governor, as was a bill that was to eliminate any exemptions for personal beliefs, writes Howard Blume for the Los Angeles Times.

A confluence of forces converges to make such mandates not even practical anymore, admits the mainstream media.

Most notable is the fact, writes Blume, that SARS-CoV-2 “has evolved to a less deadly, more manageable, and treatable stage. Although COVID-19 remains widespread — and people continue to die from it — the availability of vaccines and antiviral treatments has lessened the effects — offering relief to what had been an overwhelmed public health system.”

In California, Newsom plans to end the state of emergency on Feb. 28, ending a three-year period of history for the Golden State.

It's still taboo to express any critical views of the COVID-19 vaccine products in the mainstream press. On the topic of these products, Blume and contributing writers Adam Beam and Times staff writer Taryn Luna reassure the reader that the move to cease any mandates doesn’t mean that the state rejects the COVID-19 vaccines. In fact, the state’s health department declared:

“COVID-19 immunization is an important tool for keeping our kids healthy and schools open,” the department statement said. “Health officials strongly recommend immunization of students and staff against COVID-19 to prevent hospitalization and other serious complications, including death. Widespread vaccination has contributed to keeping California children in school to learn and to strengthen social connections. Turnkey mobile vaccination services remain available for any K-12 school within the state.”

The Reality

The truth is that the current COVID-19 vaccines, softening the sharp, deadly edges of the COVID-19 pandemic, most definitely exhibited attributes of early state or “Version 1.0” products.

Because the world found out the COVID-19 vaccines were not preventing the contagion from spreading, a movement grew against inoculation mandates by the spring of 2021. It didn’t make much sense if the products didn’t halt the infection in the first place and, thereby stop the transmission of the virus.

That aside, the positioning for the benefits shifted at the time to a reduction in the probability of serious infection and hospitalization, even death. In fact, across many different real-world studies evaluated by TrialSite over the past couple of years, the evidence suggests that the COVID-19 vaccines did serve to induce surges of immune protection during surges of the pandemic, slowing down hospitalization and saving lives.

But two other elements further weakened the prospect of these COVID-19 vaccine products as permanent fixtures on the vaccination schedule in addition to the fact that they were not sterilizing in impact. First, is their lack of breadth, in that as the SARS-CoV-2 virus mutated from Delta into Omicron and various subvariants, increasingly, the pathogen evaded the vaccine’s neutralizing impact, while also and in relation to a mutating RNA virus the durability of the vaccine was questionable. This is why boosters were required, and since the release of the first COVID-19 vaccines to the market in mid-December 2020, up to five doses have been administered, two in the primary series and up to three boosters including the most recent bivalent Omicron BA.4/BA.5 booster does.

The market has resoundingly rejected this product despite intense and ongoing promotional edicts from the government, echoed by health systems. As of this writing, only about 15% of all persons eligible have opted to take the shot.

The whole strategy in response to COVID-19 should be evaluated carefully. For example, early treatment (now emphasized once pharmaceutical products were approved) was de-emphasized when front-line providers produced various approaches in the clinics during the pandemic.

One such approach was the ICAM protocol, which was purportedly saving hundreds of lives out of one Florida-based health system. Involving the use of blood thinners and certain steroids, (both later shown to help) TrialSite learned that once the CEO became aware of the protocol it was canceled. TrialSite brought significant attention to the effort worldwide. Sources conveyed that a contract between Pfizer and the health system precluded the latter from its employees developing any regimen for SARS-CoV-2, even though it was in the middle of a deadly pandemic.

Assuming these declarations are authentic, Pfizer leveraged its position in the pandemic quite ruthlessly to lock in behaviors it deemed appropriate. The message to health systems: If you want access to the COVID-19 vaccines via clinical trials, sign this adhesion-style contract. Of course, there is evidence that Pfizer enforced this approach worldwide via all sorts of unorthodox contracts with draconian clauses. See “Pfizer’s Power in the COVID-19 Vaccine Space.”

Moving forward, state agencies, school districts, and other units of government will likely back out of any hardline COVID-19 vaccine stances now, including relevant mandates, as the science irrefutably reveals the limitations of the current batch of COVID-19 vaccines.

Importantly, this is not to minimize intention for and even the protective results, albeit short-lived, at the time, and in many cases, their influence as a medical tool, along with other approaches during the pandemic, only expresses what the reality is on the ground.


Study finds way to help children overcome peanut allergy

This is rather old hat. Systematic desensitization has been known to psychologists for decades and its application to peanut allergy also goes back at least a decade. Good that someone is still working on it though

Consuming small, sequential doses of boiled peanuts help overcome children’s allergic reactions, according to a new study.

The research, published in the journal Clinical & Experimental Allergy, found that 80 per cent of children with peanut allergy become desensitised to eating peanuts following the trial.

Since up to three per cent of children in Western countries are grappling with peanut allergies, scientists, including those from Flinders University in the US, say the new clinical trial can help develop a novel treatment to reduce the risk of accidental peanut exposure and improve quality of life for peanut-allergic children.

Their new study is based on previous findings that heat affects the protein structure and allergic properties of peanuts, making them potentially less likely to cause severe allergic reactions.

Scientists tested whether a therapy delivering small, increasing doses of boiled peanuts, followed by roasted peanuts, may help children overcome their peanut allergies.

“Small and increasing doses of boiled nuts were first given to children to partially desensitise them, and when they showed no signs of an allergic reaction, increasing doses of roasted peanuts were then provided to increase their tolerance in the next stage of treatment,” study co-author Tim Chataway said in a statement.

Researchers asked 70 peanut-allergic children of ages six to 18 to consume peanuts boiled for 12 hours for 12 weeks, 2 hour boiled peanuts for 20 weeks, and roasted peanuts for 20 weeks.

Scientists found that 56 of the 70 (80 per cent) participants became desensitized to a daily target dose of consuming 12 roasted peanuts without allergic reactions.

While treatment-related adverse events were reported in over 60 per cent of the participants, only 3 withdrew from the trial as a result, the study noted.

“Our clinical trial shows promising early signs in demonstrating that boiling peanuts may provide a safe and effective method for treating peanut-allergic children with sequential doses of boiled and roasted peanuts over an extended period of time,” says Luke Grzeskowiak, another author of the study, said.

However, scientists caution that this method of therapy may not work for everyone, but add that they are in the process of better understanding what factors can influence how people respond to treatment.

While these findings hold “great promise”, researchers add that the results also require confirmation in a larger definitive clinical trial.


7 February, 2023

Adherence to Healthy Lifestyle Prior to Infection and Risk of Post–COVID-19 Condition

There is an old, old fallacy here. Sure: Healthy people survived Covid better but why was that? Was a healthy lifestyle the crucial factor? This article cannot tell us that. It could well be that people who adopted a heathier lifestyle were healthier to start with. And the converse -- that sickly people are unable to adopt many aspects of a healthy lifestyle (such as vigorous exercise) -- is undoubtedly true. So was it lifestyle that protected from Covid in the study below? Maybe, maybe not

It doesn't prove anything by itself but I have a very unhealthy lifestyle and Covid has not touched me at all -- and I am 79, in a high-risk group. So the report below will not influence anything I do

Siwen Wang et al.

Question Is a healthy lifestyle (healthy body mass index, never smoking, high-quality diet, moderate alcohol intake, regular exercise, and adequate sleep) prior to SARS-CoV-2 infection protective of post–COVID-19 condition (PCC)?

Findings In this prospective cohort study of 1981 women who reported a positive SARS-CoV-2 test from April 2020 to November 2021, adherence to a healthy lifestyle prior to infection was inversely associated with risk of PCC in a dose-dependent manner. Compared with those who did not have any healthy lifestyle factors, those with 5 or 6 had half the risk of PCC.

Meaning Preinfection healthy lifestyle was associated with a substantially decreased risk of PCC.


Importance Few modifiable risk factors for post–COVID-19 condition (PCC) have been identified.

Objective To investigate the association between healthy lifestyle factors prior to SARS-CoV-2 infection and risk of PCC.

Design, Setting, and Participants In this prospective cohort study, 32 249 women in the Nurses’ Health Study II cohort reported preinfection lifestyle habits in 2015 and 2017. Healthy lifestyle factors included healthy body mass index (BMI, 18.5-24.9; calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared), never smoking, at least 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous physical activity, moderate alcohol intake (5 to 15 g/d), high diet quality (upper 40% of Alternate Healthy Eating Index–2010 score), and adequate sleep (7 to 9 h/d).

Main Outcomes and Measures SARS-CoV-2 infection (confirmed by test) and PCC (at least 4 weeks of symptoms) were self-reported on 7 periodic surveys administered from April 2020 to November 2021. Among participants with SARS-CoV-2 infection, the relative risk (RR) of PCC in association with the number of healthy lifestyle factors (0 to 6) was estimated using Poisson regression and adjusting for demographic factors and comorbidities.

Results A total of 1981 women with a positive SARS-CoV-2 test over 19 months of follow-up were documented. Among those participants, mean age was 64.7 years (SD, 4.6; range, 55-75); 97.4% (n = 1929) were White; and 42.8% (n = 848) were active health care workers. Among these, 871 (44.0%) developed PCC. Healthy lifestyle was associated with lower risk of PCC in a dose-dependent manner. Compared with women without any healthy lifestyle factors, those with 5 to 6 had 49% lower risk (RR, 0.51; 95% CI, 0.33-0.78) of PCC. In a model mutually adjusted for all lifestyle factors, BMI and sleep were independently associated with risk of PCC (BMI, 18.5-24.9 vs others, RR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.73-1.00, P = .046; sleep, 7-9 h/d vs others, RR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.72-0.95, P = .008). If these associations were causal, 36.0% of PCC cases would have been prevented if all participants had 5 to 6 healthy lifestyle factors (population attributable risk percentage, 36.0%; 95% CI, 14.1%-52.7%). Results were comparable when PCC was defined as symptoms of at least 2-month duration or having ongoing symptoms at the time of PCC assessment.

Conclusions and Relevance In this prospective cohort study, pre-infection healthy lifestyle was associated with a substantially lower risk of PCC. Future research should investigate whether lifestyle interventions may reduce risk of developing PCC or mitigate symptoms among individuals with PCC or possibly other postinfection syndromes.


Do mask mandates work?

This week there was an update to a Cochrane review, which studies the way physical interventions can interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses. The review, which Tom Jefferson is the lead author of, looks at evidence from 78 randomised trials with over 610,000 participants. In other words, this review is exactly the sort of higher-quality evidence you want when making healthcare decisions.

The review’s fifth update looked at handwashing, antiseptic use, social distancing and barriers such as masks, gloves, gowns and visors.

Given past controversies, it’s worth looking at what the review says about the effects medical or surgical masks have on the way respiratory diseases spread.

Interestingly, 12 trials in the review, ten in the community and two among healthcare workers, found that wearing masks in the community probably makes little or no difference to influenza-like or Covid-19-like illness transmission. Equally, the review found that masks had no effect on laboratory-confirmed influenza or SARS-CoV-2 outcomes. Five other trials showed no difference between one type of mask over another.

This is the second update of the review since the start of the pandemic. The first update was delayed by seven months due to unexplained editorial decisions. It was too late when it came out in November 2020 to make a difference to national Covid policy; by then, activism, low-quality observational evidence and government policy had set the agenda for mask mandates, and the damage had been done.

Often these government policies relied on observational studies on mask usage and the spread of Covid. But there are lots of flaws in observational evidence. For example, in the absence of a study protocol setting out methods before the study is done, it is possible to shift the dates of an observational analysis to suit the rise and fall in infections. So if you time your analysis near the peak of infections, the results will favour mask interventions as the infection rate quickly decreases.

But when we pointed out in November 2020 the troubling lack of robust evidence on face masks and the problems with observational studies, we were shouted down, removed from Facebook and put on the government’s secret watchlist.

What many also failed to notice at the time was that studies that look at individuals – as opposed to populations – can lead to erroneous policy decisions. Studies which involve individuals frequently track people who have specifically chosen to wear a mask. But policies on mandatory masks are very different – they involve lots of people who don’t like wearing masks every day, and many people who won’t wear one at all. A study which only looks at keen mask-wearers will not reflect how people comply on a population level.

The Cochrane review findings report relatively low adherence to mask-wearing, which is similar to what happens in the real world. With better adherence and higher quality masks (and if you are careful when you step out the door), you might reduce your risk in specific settings by a small amount. However, when you scale up any potential small benefits to those who step out the door regularly, the effect doesn’t stack up as a population-based intervention.

Mandates that affected the whole population never made sense. Moreover, even in high adherence populations such as Japan, they have not stemmed an inevitable rise in infections. Part of the problem may be that during the pandemic the government had to be seen to be doing something. Interventions like handwashing and vaccines are invisible, but masks acted as a visible sign of compliance.

What we have witnessed in this pandemic are strong beliefs about what works and what doesn’t. At times, it’s been more like a football match, with cheerleaders on either side goading the opposition. Several policies such as mask mandates, restrictions, and unproven interventions now seem absurd in hindsight. And as the culture of fear has lifted, the population has become all too aware of their detrimental effects.

We failed to follow an evidence-based approach during the pandemic. We are now left with the human, social and economic aftermath of evidence-free policies.


6 February, 2023

Vitamin D and Covid

Journal article:

Protective Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation on COVID-19-Related Intensive Care Hospitalization and Mortality: Definitive Evidence from Meta-Analysis and Trial Sequential Analysis

Christiano Argano et al.


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic represents one of the world’s most important challenges for global public healthcare. Various studies have found an association between severe vitamin D deficiency and COVID-19-related outcomes. Vitamin D plays a crucial role in immune function and inflammation. Recent data have suggested a protective role of vitamin D in COVID-19-related health outcomes. The purpose of this meta-analysis and trial sequential analysis (TSA) was to better explain the strength of the association between the protective role of vitamin D supplementation and the risk of mortality and admission to intensive care units (ICUs) in patients with COVID-19.

Methods: We searched four databases on 20 September 2022. Two reviewers screened the randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and assessed the risk of bias, independently and in duplicate. The pre-specified outcomes of interest were mortality and ICU admission.

Results: We identified 78 bibliographic citations. After the reviewers’ screening, only five RCTs were found to be suitable for our analysis. We performed meta-analyses and then TSAs. Vitamin D administration results in a decreased risk of death and ICU admission (standardized mean difference (95% CI): 0.49 (0.34–0.72) and 0.28 (0.20–0.39), respectively). The TSA of the protective role of vitamin D and ICU admission showed that, since the pooling of the studies reached a definite sample size, the positive association is conclusive. The TSA of the protective role of vitamin D in mortality risk showed that the z-curve was inside the alpha boundaries, indicating that the positive results need further studies.

Discussion: The results of the meta-analyses and respective TSAs suggest a definitive association between the protective role of vitamin D and ICU hospitalization.


Look back in anger at government Covid folly

Remember this joke: a teenager kills his parents and appeals to the courts for mercy as an orphan? The Australian Medical Association backed lockdown restrictions back in the day but is now complaining about the growing backlog in elective surgery. Here’s a question. Had the vast sums thrown at Covid been redirected to the leading killer diseases, using the standard quality-adjusted life year metric, how many million deaths would have been averted around the world over the next decade? The lockdown harms are showing up in excess death counts, job losses, supply chain chaos, rising cost of living, and have locked in generational poverty and inequality in and across nations. Historical illiteracy is now a job requirement for ‘experts’. Germany has burnt 17.25 million masks past their expiry date, while stockpiling more for future emergencies. Recalling Margaret Thatcher’s comment on the trouble with socialism, politicians don’t learn from mistakes made with other people’s money. The media too lived down to their description as stenographers with amnesia. The state dictated every aspect of peoples’ lives, down to the most ridiculous, absurd and intimate details. With no known cure for blind faith in governments, people embraced compliance with draconian directives from politicians proffering iron fists as a magic bullet.

Lockdowns were a euphemism for a wholesale shutting down of social and economic activities and putting entire populations under house arrest. Neither based in science and best-practice medicine, nor commensurate with the age-stratified threat from the virus, they lasted on and off for two years with constantly shifting goalposts. As early as February-March 2020, data told us that elderly people with comorbidities were the most vulnerable. In a modern-day version of sacrificing virgins to appease the viral gods, the young have lost many more years of their life to buy a few more lonely, miserable months for the infirm old. A study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that lack of household exposure to kids increased Covid hospitalisation of grown-ups by 27 per cent and ICU admission by 49 per cent. They should have said: ‘Don’t be a Granny killer. Leave that to us.’

The UK Influenza Preparedness Strategy 2011 encapsulated the prevailing consensus on masks: ‘there is very little evidence of widespread benefit from their use in [the community and household] setting’. The lack of observed differences can be seen in a series of comparative charts in Ian Miller’s Unmasked: The Global Failure of Covid Mask Mandates (2022). Governments ‘nudged’ the public to exert peer pressure as a tool of social coercion, backed by sometimes brutal police action against pockets of resistance and protest. Mask mandates reflected and perpetuated the reign of fear and demonstrated broad compliance with the effort of governments to exercise population-wide social control. A highly visible symbol of collectivist compliance, masks became Mao suits for the face. The degree of coercion deployed to increase vaccine uptake would not have been possible without the ground having first been prepared with lockdowns and masks.

Japan has extraordinarily high levels of public compliance with government directives and mask wearing is all pervasive. Using Our World in Data figures, Japan hit 80 per cent full vaccination on 9 December 2021 when its Covid daily death rate was 0.01 per million. This had risen to 3.43 per million on 9 January 2023. Total deaths had increased from 18,370 to 63,777 over that period. Thus 2.5 times as many people died with Covid in the 13.5 months after full vaccination than in the 21.3 months before 80 per cent full vaccination. Yet they still refuse to entertain the notion that vaccines might be the problem, not the solution. The continued hold of the ‘safe and effective’ vaccine mantra, and face mask efficacy for controlling the coronavirus is cause for despair in official cussedness and public gullibility. The transient effectiveness of vaccines has necessitated boosters every few months. Often vaccine rollouts coincided with upsurges in infections and deaths, suggesting negative efficacy. Newer studies show successive doses are less effective and repeated doses may be driving infections by damaging immune function. When vaccines began to be administered at the end of 2020, 1.9 million people had died with Covid globally. Another 4.8 million have died since then. Added to the growing toll of vaccine injuries, this has discredited officials and experts who claimed the vaccines would prevent infection, transmission, severe illness and death. Yet all that matters to zealots is how many arms are jabbed and how often.

With help from the media, social media (thank you, Elon Musk, for the Twitter Files) and police, people were frightened, shamed and brutalised into submission to arbitrary and authoritarian diktats. Governments deployed state propaganda to instil fear of the disease and shame all effort to question edicts. Turning the debate from a scientific discourse into a moral imperative facilitated the demonisation and denigration of critical voices on the lethality of the virus, the effectiveness and ethics of lockdowns, masks and vaccine mandates, and the harms inflicted by these interventions. Calls have grown for an immediate suspension of vaccinations until the unusually strong correlation with excess deaths, heart problems and female reproduction are properly investigated. Instead, suspicions become only stronger that regulators have become vaccine-enablers first, more committed to defend vaccines from criticism than protect people from harmful vaccines. The media switched from exposing official lies to amplifying them. One dispiriting lesson of the last three years is people will ‘live happily ever after’ as long as the media ignores how governments trample our freedoms while claiming to keep us safe.

On every major point of contention in managing the pandemic, the Great Barrington Declaration was right. Fearmongers-in-chief like Neil Ferguson, Anthony Fauci (whose omniscience deserted him during deposition) and their local ‘useful idiots’ were wrong. The common sense distilled into the few words of the Declaration was an uncommon virtue. The three scientist-authors – from Harvard, Oxford and Stanford! – were taken down savagely and belittled as ‘fringe epidemiologists’. This malfeasance was compounded by the cowardice of political leaders hiding behind ‘Follow the Science’ that mistook a slogan for policy and let loose upon democratic societies previously unimaginable acts and scenes of censorship, coercion and brutality which have gradually eroded trust in authorities and institutions. Recovery and healing will be difficult without accountability, punishment and robust institutional guardrails against repeating episodes of the abuses.


5 February, 2023

Inside the Secret Government Meeting on COVID-19 Natural Immunity

Natural immunity downplayed. EVERYONE should be vaccinated

Four of the highest ranking U.S. health officials—including Dr. Anthony Fauci—met in secret to discuss whether or not naturally immune people should be exempt from getting COVID-19 vaccines, The Epoch Times can reveal.

The officials brought in four outside experts to discuss whether the protection gained after recovering from COVID-19—known as natural immunity—should count as one or more vaccine doses.

“There was interest in several people in the administration in hearing basically the opinions of four immunologists in terms of what we thought about … natural infection as contributing to protection against moderate to severe disease, and to what extent that should influence dosing,” Dr. Paul Offit, one of the experts, told The Epoch Times.

Offit and another expert took the position that the naturally immune need fewer doses. The other two experts argued natural immunity shouldn’t count as anything.

The discussion did not lead to a change in U.S. vaccination policy, which has never acknowledged post-infection protection. Fauci and the other U.S. officials who heard from the experts have repeatedly downplayed that protection, claiming that it is inferior to vaccine-bestowed immunity. Most studies on the subject indicate the opposite.

The meeting, held in October 2021, was briefly discussed before on a podcast. The Epoch Times has independently confirmed the meeting took place, identified all of the participants, and uncovered other key details.

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a professor of medicine at Stanford University who did not participate in the meeting, criticized how such a consequential discussion took place behind closed doors with only a few people present.

“It was a really impactful decision that they made in private with a very small number of people involved. And they reached the wrong decision,” Bhattacharya told The Epoch Times:

Fauci and Murthy decided to hold the meeting, according to emails The Epoch Times obtained.

“Would you be available tonight from 9-9:30 for a call with a few other scientific colleagues on infection-induced immunity? Tony and I just discussed and were hoping to do this sooner rather than later if possible,” Murthy wrote in one missive to Fauci, Walensky, and Collins.

All three quickly said they could make it.

Walensky asked who would be there.

Murthy listed the participants. “I think you know all of them right?” he said. Walensky said she knew all but one person. “Sounds like a good crew,” she added.

During the meeting, Offit put forth his position—that natural immunity should count as two doses.

At the time, the CDC recommended three shots—a two-dose primary series and a booster—for many Americans 18 and older, soon expanding that advice to all adults, even though trials of the boosters only analyzed immunogenicity and efficacy among those without evidence of prior infection.

Research indicated that natural immunity was long-lasting and superior to vaccination. On the other hand, the CDC published a paper in its quasi-journal that concluded vaccination was better.

Osterholm sided with Offit, but thought that having recovered from COVID-19 should only count as a single dose.

“I added my voice at the meeting to count an infection as equivalent to a dose of vaccine! I’ve always believed hybrid immunity likely provides the most protection,” Osterholm told The Epoch Times via email.

Hybrid immunity refers to getting a vaccine after recovering from COVID-19.

Some papers have found vaccination after recovery boosts antibodies, which are believed to be a correlate of protection. Other research has shown that the naturally immune have a higher risk of side effects than those who haven’t recovered from infection. Some experts believe the risk is worth the benefit but others do not.

Hotez and Iwasaki, meanwhile, made the case that natural immunity should not count as any dose—as has been the case in virtually the entire United States since the COVID-19 vaccines were first rolled out.

Iwasaki referred to a British preprint study, soon after published in Nature, that concluded, based on survey data, that the protection from the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines was heightened among people with evidence of prior infection.

She also noted a study she worked on that found the naturally immune had higher antibody titers than the vaccinated, but that the vaccinated “reached comparable levels of neutralization responses to the ancestral strain after the second vaccine dose.” The researchers also discovered T cells—thought to protect against severe illness—were boosted by vaccination.

There’s a “clear benefit” to boosting regardless of prior infection, Iwasaki, who has since received more than $2 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), told participants after the meeting in an email obtained by The Epoch Times. Hotez received $789,000 in grants from the NIH in fiscal year 2020, and has received other grants totaling millions in previous years. Offit, who co-invented the rotavirus vaccine, received $3.5 million in NIH grants from 1985 through 2004.

Hotez declined interview requests through a spokesperson. Iwasaki did not respond to requests for comment.

No participants represented experts like Bhattacharya who say that the naturally immune generally don’t need any doses at all.

In public, Hotez repeatedly portrayed natural immunity as worse than vaccination, including citing the widely criticized CDC paper, which drew from just two months of testing in a single state.

In one post on Twitter on Oct. 29, 2021, he referred to another CDC study, which concluded that the naturally immune were five times as likely to test positive compared to vaccinated people with no prior infection, and stated: “Still more evidence, this time from @CDCMMWR showing that vaccine-induced immunity is way better than infection and recovery, what some call weirdly ‘natural immunity’. The antivaccine and far right groups go ballistic, but it’s the reality.”

That same day, the CDC issued a “science brief” that detailed the agency’s position on natural immunity versus the protection from vaccines. The brief, which has never been updated, says that available evidence shows both the vaccinated and naturally immune “have a low risk of subsequent infection for at least 6 months” but that “the body of evidence for infection-induced immunity is more limited than that for vaccine-induced immunity.”

Evidence shows that vaccination after infection, or hybrid immunity, “significantly enhances protection and further reduces risk of reinfection” and is the foundation of the CDC’s recommendations, the agency said.

Several months later, the CDC acknowledged that natural immunity was superior to vaccination against the Delta variant, which was displaced in late 2021 by Omicron. The CDC, which has made misleading representations before on the evidence supporting vaccination of the naturally immune, did not respond to a request for comment regarding whether the agency will ever update the brief.

Iwasaki had initially been open to curbing the number of doses for the naturally immune—”I think this supports the idea of just giving one dose to people who had covid19,” she said in response to one Twitter post in early 2021, which is restricted from view—but later came to argue that each person who is infected has a different immune response, and that the natural immunity, even if strong initially, wanes over time.

Osterholm has knocked people who claim natural immunity is weak or non-existent, but has also claimed that vaccine-bestowed immunity is better. Osterholm also changed the stance he took in the meeting just several months later, saying in February 2022 that “we’ve got to make three doses the actual standard” while also “trying to understand what kind of immunity we get from a previous infection.”

Offit has been the leading critic on the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, which advises U.S. regulators on vaccines, over their authorizations of COVID-19 boosters. Offit has said boosters are unnecessary for the young and healthy because they don’t add much to the primary series. He also criticized regulators for authorizing updated shots without consulting the committee and absent clinical data. Two of the top U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials resigned over the booster push. No FDA officials were listed on invitations to the secret meeting on natural immunity.

Fauci and Walensky, two of the most visible U.S. health officials during the pandemic, have repeatedly downplayed natural immunity.

Fauci, who said in an email in March 2020 that he assumed there would be “substantial immunity post infection,” would say later that natural immunity was real but that the durability was uncertain. He noted the studies finding higher antibody levels from hybrid immunity.

In September 2021, months after claiming that vaccinated people “can feel safe that they are not going to get infected,” Fauci said that he did not have “a really firm answer” on whether the naturally immune should get vaccinated.

“It is conceivable that you got infected, you’re protected—but you may not be protected for an indefinite period of time,” Fauci said on CNN when pressed on the issue. “So I think that is something that we need to sit down and discuss seriously.”

After the meeting, Fauci would say that natural immunity and vaccine-bestowed immunity both wane, and that people should get vaccinated regardless of prior infection to boost their protection.

Walensky, before she became CDC director, signed a document called the John Snow Memorandum in response to the Great Barrington Declaration, which Bhattacharya coauthored. The declaration called for focused protection of the elderly and otherwise infirm, stating, “The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk.”

The memorandum, in contrast, said there was “no evidence for lasting protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2 following natural infection” and supported the harsh lockdown measures that had been imposed in the United States and elsewhere.

In March 2021, after becoming director, Walensky released recommendations that the naturally immune get vaccinated, noting that there was “substantial durability” of protection six months after infection but that “rare cases of reinfection” had been reported.

Walensky hyped the CDC study on natural immunity in August 2021, and the second study in October 2021. But when the third paper came out concluding natural immunity was superior, she did not issue a statement. Walensky later told a blog that the study found natural immunity provided strong protection, “perhaps even more so than those who had been vaccinated and not yet boosted.”

But, because it came before Omicron, she said, “it’s not entirely clear how that protection works in the context of Omicron and boosting.”

Walensky, Murthy, and Collins did not respond to requests for interviews. Fauci, who stepped down from his positions in late 2022, could not be reached.

Murthy and Collins also portrayed natural immunity as inferior. “From the studies about natural immunity, we are seeing more and more data that tells us that while you get some protection from natural infection, it’s not nearly as strong as what you get from the vaccine,” Murthy said on CNN about two months before the meeting. Collins, in a series of blog posts, highlighted the studies showing higher antibody levels after vaccination and urged people to get vaccinated. He also voiced support for vaccine mandates.

Some other countries offered the naturally immune benefits.

Just days after U.S. officials heard from the experts, Israel announced that people who presented serological proof of prior infection could get a “green pass,” which was required in the country to enter certain venues, for six months. Some European Union countries said the naturally immune only needed a single dose, instead of two, to receive a digital certificate, enabling free movement within the bloc. The United Kingdom’s travel pass was available to people who tested positive for COVID-19 if the test was within the previous 180 days.

But U.S. policy on vaccines, which has been the basis for vaccination mandates across sectors such as education and health care, was not altered at all in the wake of the meeting.

“I think it’s because the opinions were sort of generally diverse, so there wasn’t a clear, unified message that came out of that,” Offit told The Epoch Times, adding via email that there was “generally a divide among participants about how to think about this,” with “no firm conclusions.”

Bhattacharya said that the discussion happened too late, asserting it was already clear in 2020 that natural immunity protected against both severe disease and reinfection.

“The fact that the head of the CDC and the surgeon general both seem to have ignored these basic scientific facts is a scandal,” he said. “And it resulted in countless Americans losing their jobs for nothing.”

In 2022, the CDC did say that people who recovered from COVID-19 could wait up to three months after infection to get vaccinated, stating that reinfection “is less likely in the weeks to months after infection” and that waiting “might result in an improved immune response to vaccination.”

Over time, some other U.S. policies came to acknowledge natural immunity. Walensky in April 2022 (pdf), for instance, when ordering the end of a public health policy called Title 42, said that she was doing so because deaths and hospitalizations in the Omicron era were lower “due, in part, to widespread population immunity.”

A connecting footnote stated, “In addition to vaccine-induced immunity, studies have consistently shown that infection with SARS-CoV-2 lowers an individual’s risk of subsequent infection and an even lower risk of hospitalization and death.” SARS-CoV-2 causes COVID-19.

In August 2022, the CDC eased its COVID-19 guidelines, stating in part that “persons who have had COVID-19 but are not vaccinated have some degree of protection against severe illness from their previous infection.”

And on Jan. 26, the FDA convened Offit and the other advisers on the vaccine advisory committee to consider various vaccine-related issues. Among them? Whether the naturally immune should be advised to only get one shot, even if they’ve never been vaccinated before.


3 February, 2023

Immune Exhaustion Emerges After 3rd Vaccine Dose: Current Findings

Vaccines have been upheld as the best strategy for dealing with infectious diseases, but that’s largely because of a limited understanding of the immune system and how to best complement and support its function. Our bodies are normally able to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to invading pathogens or when a vaccine stimulates an immune reaction, but there are factors that can compromise that.

A study published in Science Immunology in January 2023 (but first submitted in August 2022) shows that incremental doses of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine boosters may be one such factor, based on how they train our immune systems. In this case, the immune system seemed to gain a false sense of security from dealing with the booster version of the vaccine, which is supposed to teach the immune system how to deal with the virus. Unfortunately, in this case, it seemed that the immune system has learned that it doesn’t need to mount a strong counterattack. Worse, the vaccine boosters might not even induce any effect in people at high risk of severe infection.

IgG Subtype Composition Changed After Vaccination
According to the study, the third dose of the mRNA vaccines seems to be linked with a class switch in subtypes of immunoglobulin G (IgG), the dominating serum antibody in our immune system, which raises the question of immune exhaustion. Class switching is when B cells redirect their efforts toward producing IgG. To start, they produce generic immunoglobulin cells such as IgM. But once they find that the invading pathogen is tougher than they thought, they switch to producing the more effective IgG to ward off the infection.

IgG is an important serum antibody that makes up roughly 80 percent of all antibodies in our immune system. After class switching occurs, B cells release different types of IgG instead of other less-effective immunoglobulin cells. Depending on the severity of the infection, the ratio of IgG may also vary.

IgG is the more effective fighter in our immune system, as it has the ability to opsonize and fixate complements, meaning that it attaches to infected cells or pathogens and instructs killer cells to swallow intruders up through phagocytosis. It’s also the only antibody that crosses into the placenta, playing a critical role in protecting the unborn fetus.

However, IgG is split up into four major subtypes—denoted IgG1 through IgG4—and each has its own strengths and limitations.

Out of all four, IgG1 makes up most of serum IgG, as it has the best immune properties. Along with IgG3, these two are the most potent members of the IgG family.

IgG4 is considered one of the weakest types, as it doesn’t do as well in attracting immune cells responsible for eliminating invaders.

Research shows that IgG4 composition usually hovers at about 4 percent, a number matched by the aforementioned study for patients after five months of receiving the second dose of vaccine.

Right after the second dose, IgG4 levels were at 0.04 percent while IgG1 and IgG3—the most potent members in the IgG family—made up 96.55 percent of all IgG, according to the aforementioned Science Immunology paper.

This change in IgG levels indicates that the body interprets the second dose as a serious infection and produces the more effective IgG to tackle the simulated infection. However, things look a little different after the vaccine booster shot.

In the study, the percentage of IgG4 in the blood serum rose to unexpectedly high levels after the third dose. Ten days after the third vaccination, IgG4 levels rose to 13.91 percent and jumped to 19.27 percent five months after. At the same time, IgG1 and IgG3 levels both dropped, showing a significant change in blood serum antibody composition.

This isn’t good, as higher levels of IgG4, without the ability to stimulate immune cells, could indicate immune exhaustion. It’s also an indication that the immune system intentionally dampened the response starting with the third dose of the vaccination.

On the other hand, although IgG3 and IgG1 contribute the most to immune mechanisms, the downside is that they’re costly to produce and can quickly wear out the body. In contrast, IgG4 isn’t as effective but it’s more economical to produce.

The immune system will always place warding off outside intruders at the top of its to-do list while keeping efficiency in mind. This is why the amount of each IgG subtype produced varies with each infection.

In the Science Immunology study, high IgG4 levels after the third dose, even a long time after it, indicate that the immune system is being worn out through the repeated vaccination course. The body treats the third dose with more indifference and deploys the less effective IgG4 in response.

This development of more IgG4 than usual is unhealthy and riskier for people if they encounter the real virus later, as COVID-19 can develop into a rather severe disease, especially for people with chronic conditions. If the body begins to treat the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine like a boy crying wolf, then what if the real virus comes knocking at the door?

The vaccine is meant to train the immune system’s memory cells so that the next time something similar comes along, they know how to quickly defend the immune system. This process is also called antibody acquisition. The aforementioned study demonstrates that the body stops regarding COVID-19 as a serious viral infection after the vaccine booster shot. However, in some people, the boosters actually have no effect at all.

One group of people who might gain the least from vaccination seems to include those who are immunocompromised, such as organ transplant recipients—people who regularly take immunosuppressants as a part of post-operational procedures.

A study published in Nature shows that antibody acquisition rates against COVID-19 were “extremely low” in kidney transplant patients. This finding contradicts the purpose of the vaccine, as it’s meant to induce antibody acquisition.

Similar reports have also surfaced elsewhere, especially in regard to newer variants of COVID-19. An observational study claiming to be the largest when analyzing four-dose vaccinated organ transplant recipients shows that the mRNA vaccine booster demonstrates a “lack of formal neutralization” against “variants of concern including Omicron.”

Data published by Elsevier also shows that antibody neutralization against the Omicron coronavirus variant has seen a 15- to 20-fold reduction when compared with the wild-type virus in transplant recipients. These findings are of grave concern.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends that immunocompromised people receive a COVID-19 vaccine, as well as get their vaccine boosters.

According to data published in the medical journal Transplantation, during the recent Omicron wave, although COVID-19 cases have increased for organ transplant recipients, the death rate of this population has dropped fivefold.

However, is this reduction due to repeated vaccination or to the reduced pathogenicity of Omicron variants? Is it really effective to drive vaccination campaigns for the immunocompromised, based on the trifling level of antibody acquisition? Can the benefits of repetitive boosting outweigh the increased risk of side effects?

It’s really time to reconsider what place the COVID-19 vaccines should take. Are we underestimating the wisdom of our immune system? This stance is similar to that taken in a previous article that mentions how “negative efficacy” should have stopped vaccine recommendations in their tracks.

Now, researchers are saying that vaccines, especially boosters, fail to have a significant effect on the immunocompromised—the very group of people especially susceptible to severe disease and death. We need to stop placing the mRNA shots on a pedestal and consider all options in response to SARS-CoV-2, such as focusing on bolstering our natural immune system and holistic well-being.


Countries with the longest life expectancies revealed in interactive map... and neither Britain or the US are in the top 30

Given its nickname of the 'billionaire's playground', chances are you'll know about the lavish luxury on offer in Monaco.

But did you know the principality, famously so wealthy it doesn't bother tracking poverty rates, also has the world's highest life expectancy? Babies born today in the 40,000-strong nation, sandwiched on the south coast of France, have a life expectancy of 85.9 years, data suggests.

In contrast, the Republic of Chad, a country at the crossroads of north and central Africa, ranks bottom of the world's league table.

The 10 countries with the LONGEST life expectancy

Monaco - 85.9 years
Hong Kong - 85.5 years
Macao - 85.4 years
Japan - 84.8 years
Australia - 84.5 years
Switzerland - 84 years
Malta - 83.8 years
South Korea - 83.7 years
Liechtenstein - 83.3 years
Norway - 83.2 years

The African country, one of the world's poorest countries, has a life expectancy of just 52.5 years.

In fact, all 10 countries with the shortest life expectancy are in Africa, with Chad followed by Nigeria, Lesotho, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Somalia, Eswatini, Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea and Mali. None are above 60.

Neither the UK or the US made it into the top 30, according to the league table.

The UK has a life expectancy of 80.7 years, putting it in 34th place. And the US comes in far lower at 69th, with a life expectancy of just 77.2 years.

Life expectancies have extended drastically across the world over the past few decades thanks to medical advances.


2 February, 2023

The Deceptive Campaign for Bivalent Covid Boosters

You might have heard a radio advertisement warning that if you’ve had Covid, you could get it again and experience even worse symptoms. The message, sponsored by the Health and Human Services Department, claims that updated bivalent vaccines will improve your protection.

This is deceptive advertising. But the public-health establishment’s praise for the bivalent shots shouldn’t come as a surprise. Federal agencies took the unprecedented step of ordering vaccine makers to produce them and recommending them without data supporting their safety or efficacy.

The idea of updating mRNA Covid shots every season originally held promise. One advantage of mRNA technology is that manufacturers can tweak the genetic sequence and rapidly produce new vaccines targeting new variants. Hence the bivalent boosters targeting the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron variants along with the original Wuhan strain.

But three scientific problems have arisen. First, the virus is evolving much faster than the vaccines can be updated. Second, vaccines have hardwired our immune systems to respond to the original Wuhan strain, so we churn out fewer antibodies that neutralise variants targeted by updated vaccines. Third, antibodies rapidly wane after a few months.

Two studies in the New England Journal of Medicine this month showed that bivalent boosters increase neutralising antibodies against the BA.4 and BA.5 variants, but not significantly more than the original boosters. In one study, antibody levels after the bivalent boosters were 11 times as high against the Wuhan variant as BA.5.

The authors posit that immune imprinting “may pose a greater challenge than is currently appreciated for inducing robust immunity against SARS-CoV-2 variants.” This isn’t unique to Covid or mRNA vaccines, though boosters may amplify the effect. Our first exposure as children to the flu — whether by infection or vaccination — affects our future response to different strains.

The original Covid vaccines and boosters trained our memory B-cells to produce antibodies against the Wuhan variant. As the University of Pennsylvania’s Paul Offit explains in a New England Journal of Medicine article, previously vaccinated people who received the bivalent booster were “primed” to respond to the Wuhan strain and mounted an inferior antibody response to other variants.

The studies’ findings contradict November press releases from Pfizer and Moderna asserting that their bivalents produced a response to the BA.4 and BA.5 variants four to six times that of the original boosters. These claims are misleading. Neither vaccine maker conducted a randomised trial. They tested the original boosters last winter, long before the BA. 5 surge and 4½ to months after trial participants had received their third shots. The bivalents, by contrast, were tested after BA.5 began to surge, 9½ to 11 months after recipients had received their third shots.

A longer interval between shots would increase the antibody boost to the BA. 5 variant. So would a prior infection with the BA.5 variant. In other words, people who received the bivalent boosters in August would have been primed to produce more antibodies in response to BA.5.

The vaccine makers designed their studies to get the results they wanted. Public-health authorities didn’t raise an eyebrow, but why would they? They have a vested interest in promoting the bivalents.

The Food and Drug Administration ordered the vaccine makers in June to update the boosters against BA.4 and BA.5 and rushed in late August to authorise the bivalents before clinical data were available. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the bivalents for all adults without any evidence that they were effective or needed.

Vaccine makers could have performed small randomised trials last summer and early fall that tested the bivalents against the original boosters and a placebo group. Results could have been available by the end of September. But the public-health authorities didn’t want to wait — and now we know why.

The CDC published a study in November that estimated the bivalents were only 22% to 43% effective against infection during the BA.5 wave — their peak efficacy. As antibodies waned and new variants took over later in the fall, their protection against infection probably dropped to zero.

Another CDC study, in December, reported that seniors who received bivalents were 84% less likely to be hospitalised than the unvaccinated, and 73% less likely than those who had received two or more doses of the original vaccine. But neither study controlled for important confounding factors — for one, that the small minority who got bivalents were probably also more likely than those who hadn’t to follow other Covid precautions or seek out treatments such as Paxlovid.

FDA Commissioner Robert Califf tweeted on Jan. 11 that “COVID-19 vaccines have been associated with a significant reduction in hospitalisation and death” (my emphasis). He should know that correlation doesn’t prove causation. A study found the unvaccinated were significantly more likely to get into car accidents, but that doesn’t mean vaccines prevent crashes.

Many of the same experts who trashed observational studies supporting hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin now flog intrinsically flawed studies on bivalent boosters. After zealously promoting the bivalents, they may be seeking vindication. But science isn’t about vindication.

Covid vaccines mitigated severe illness while most Americans gained immunity through natural infection, which substantially boosts protection. There’s a growing consensus that we need better vaccines and treatments to protect those still at risk. But we also need honest public health leaders.


California's Medical Misinformation Law Struck Down

So far, California has shown to be turning an even deeper corner in 2023. On January 1, several far-left laws went into effect. The state also made headlines last week, as Matt covered, for its new tax policies. There has, however, been some relief. Perhaps one of those most worrisome laws mentioned above included a law that punished physicians for so-called medical misinformation about COVID-19, which was blocked late last week.

According to a report from Reuters' Brendan Pierson:

Senior U.S. District Judge William Shubb in Sacramento ruled on Wednesday that Assembly Bill 2098, which was signed last October by California Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, was too vague for doctors to know what kind of statements might put them at risk of being penalized."COVID-19 is a quickly evolving area of science that in many aspects eludes consensus," he wrote.

The preliminary order means that the law cannot be enforced while Shubb hears two lawsuits brought against the law shortly after its passage last year - one by a group of five doctors, and another by a doctor and two advocacy groups including Robert F. Kennedy Jr's Children's Health Defense, which has long promoted false information about standard childhood vaccines.

The law, known as Assembly Bill 2098, which was signed into law last October, required medical licensing boards in the state to take disciplinary action against physicians who were involved in so-called "dissemination or misinformation or disinformation" related to COVID-19.

Doctors found violating the law wouldn't just be faced with a slap on the wrist. A report from The New York Time's Steven Lee Myers noted that expanding medical licensing boards in such a way "could lead to a suspension or revocation of a doctor’s license to practice in the state."

As Pierson's report mentioned, that misinformation was defined as "false information that is contradicted by contemporary scientific consensus contrary to the standard of care."

The law certainly had chilling effects on free speech, as Jacob Sullum highlighted in a column from last November, but it also did not provide enough clarity as to what could get doctors into trouble.

Pierson’s report also added statements from those blasting this aspect of the law:

"This Act is a blatant attempt to silence doctors whose views, though based on thorough scientific research, deviate from the government-approved 'party line,'" said Greg Dolin of the New Civil Liberties Alliance, a lawyer for the doctors, in a statement. "At no point has the State of California been able to articulate the line between permissible and impermissible speech."

The doctors said in their lawsuit that the law gave them no way to know what was "contemporary scientific consensus," and violated their right to free speech under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed briefs supporting the plaintiffs in both cases, saying that while the state did have the power to punish doctors for spreading harmful false information, AB 2098 was a "blunt instrument" that went too far.

Senior U.S. District Judge William Shubb granted a preliminary junction on the law, which is blocked while he considers lawsuits challenging it on free speech grounds


1 February, 2023

Growing Number of Doctors Say They Won’t Get COVID-19 Booster Shots

A growing number of doctors say that they will not get COVID-19 vaccine boosters, citing a lack of clinical trial evidence.

“I have taken my last COVID vaccine without RCT level evidence it will reduce my risk of severe disease,” Dr. Todd Lee, an infectious disease expert at McGill University, wrote on Twitter.

Lee was pointing to the lack of randomized clinical trial (RCT) results for the updated boosters, which were cleared in the United States and Canada in the fall of 2022 primarily based on data from experiments with mice.

Lee, who has received three vaccine doses, noted that he was infected with the Omicron virus variant—the vaccines provide little protection against infection—and described himself as a healthy male in his 40s.

Dr. Vinay Prasad, a professor of epidemiology and biostatics at the University of California, San Francisco, also said he wouldn’t take any additional shots until clinical trial data become available.

“I took at least 1 dose against my will. It was unethical and scientifically bankrupt,” he said.

Allison Krug, an epidemiologist who co-authored a study that found teenage boys were more likely to suffer heart inflammation after COVID-19 vaccination than COVID-19 infection, recounted explaining to her doctor why she was refusing a booster and said her doctor agreed with her position.

She called on people to “join the movement to demand appropriate evidence,” pointing to a blog post from Prasad.

“Pay close attention to note this isn’t anti-vaccine sentiment. This is ‘provide [hard] evidence of benefit to justify ongoing use’ which is very different. It is only fair for a 30 billion dollar a year product given to hundreds of millions,” Lee said.

Dr. Mark Silverberg, who founded the Toronto Immune and Digestive Health Institute; Kevin Bass, a medical student; and Dr. Tracy Høeg, an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, joined Lee and Prasad in stating their opposition to more boosters, at least for now.

Høeg said she did not need clinical trials to know she’s not getting any boosters after receiving a two-dose primary series, adding that she took the second dose “against my will.”

“I also had an adverse reaction to dose 1 moderna and, if I could do it again, I would not have had any covid vaccines,” she said on Twitter. “I was glad my parents in their 70s could get covid vaccinated but have yet to see non-confounded data to advise them about the bivalent booster. I would have liked to see an RCT for the bivalent for people their age and for adults with health conditions that put them at risk.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency use authorization to updated boosters, or bivalent shots, from Pfizer and Moderna in August 2022 despite there being no human data.

Observational data suggests the boosters provide little protection against infection and solid shielding against severe illness, at least initially.

Five months after the authorization was granted, no clinical trial data has been made available for the bivalents, which target the Wuhan strain as well as the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of Omicron. Moderna presented efficacy estimates for a different bivalent, which has never been used in the United States, during a recent meeting. The company estimated the booster increased protection against infection by just 10 percent.

The FDA is preparing to order all Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines be replaced with the bivalents. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which issues recommendations on vaccines, continues advising virtually all Americans to get a primary series and multiple boosters.

Professor Calls for Halt to Messenger RNA Vaccines
A professor, meanwhile, became the latest to call for a halt to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which are both based on messenger RNA technology.

“At this point in time, all COVID mRNA vaccination program[s] should stop immediately,” Retsef Levi, a professor of operations management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said in a video statement. “They should stop because they completely failed to fulfill any of their advertised promise[s] regarding efficacy. And more importantly, they should stop because of the mounting and indisputable evidence that they cause unprecedented level of harm, including the death of young people and children.”

Levi was referring to post-vaccination heart inflammation, or myocarditis. The condition is one of the few that authorities have acknowledged is caused by the messenger RNA vaccines.

Pfizer and Moderna have not responded to requests for comment.


CDC Acknowledges Overcounting COVID-19 Hospitalizations

Which makes Covid sound worse than it is

The U.S. government overcounts COVID-19 hospitalizations, according to officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but the agency suggested that it doesn’t overcount deaths.

COVID-19 hospitalizations listed on the CDC’s data tracker webpage, which is utilized by a wide variety of health officials, journalists, and others, include three types of hospitalizations, the CDC said in a Jan. 27 statement.

The types are hospitalization because of COVID-19, because of a non-COVID condition “that was likely made worse” by COVID-19, and because of non-COVID reasons after testing positive for COVID-19. The latter is known as an incidental hospitalization.

Experts are increasingly warning against putting forth numbers that include incidental hospitalizations, or hospitalization “with” COVID-19 as opposed to “for” COVID-19. They say that separating the incidental hospitalizations will improve the accuracy of numbers and help the public better understand the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think that’s becoming increasingly important as we move into an era where these variants are clearly more infectious and cause more asymptomatic disease,” Dr. Cody Meissner, professor of pediatrics and medicine at Dartmouth College’s Geisel School of Medicine, said during a recent meeting.

Multiple states and jurisdictions, including Massachusetts and King County, Washington, don’t include incidental hospitalizations in their COVID-19 reporting.

The CDC does make the distinction in some of its studies, including papers analyzing data from COVID-NET, a CDC surveillance system that includes hospitals in 98 counties across 13 states.

“It’s not broken out in the surveillance data that’s reported online, but they do use a reasonable case definition, which is essentially that people who’ve tested positive in a reasonable amount of time before admission, or within several days after admission, are basically called a COVID associated case,” Heater Scobie, a CDC researcher, said during the meeting, which featured experts advising the U.S. government on the future of the COVID-19 vaccination program.

Neither Scobie nor the CDC explained why the agency isn’t separating out incidental hospitalizations.

Death Data

While the hospitalization data is an overcount, the CDC is insisting that its COVID-19 death count is largely accurate.

“COVID-19 death data are tracked differently—they include only the deaths in which COVID-19 played a meaningful role,” the CDC said in its statement.

The agency claimed that most COVID-19 deaths were people who had COVID-19 listed as the primary or secondary cause on their death certificates, noting that “people who happen to have COVID-19 at the time of their death but it is unrelated to their death—for example, someone who dies in a car accident—should not have COVID-19 listed on their death certificates.”

However, the CDC has previously acknowledged that a percentage of deaths involved factors such as poisoning or car accidents, and federal officials have said that any patients who definitely have or are suspected to have COVID-19 would be counted as a COVID-19 death, even if the cause of death was unrelated to the disease.

The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists stated in late 2021 (pdf) that deaths should be counted as COVID-19 deaths if the death occurred within 30 days of a confirmed laboratory test and was defined as due to any natural cause.

In an update in late 2022 (pdf), the council, which develops its guidance in partnership with the CDC, stated that even in some cases in which COVID-19 wasn’t confirmed, they should count as deaths if the certificates indicated COVID-19 “or an equivalent term” was listed as a cause of or contributor to the deaths.

“The reason for this difference is the recognition of the importance of counting all COVID-19-associated deaths, including deaths that may occur after an at-home over the counter antigen SARS-CoV-2 result, if COVID-19 is felt to be a cause of or contributor to death by the healthcare provider certifying the death,” the council stated. “Current applied public health data suggest that these numbers of deaths identified through death certificates only, without accompanying confirmatory or presumptive laboratory evidence, are a low percentage of the total.”

Margery Smelkinson, an infectious diseases expert with the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was among those questioning the CDC’s statement.

“CDC concedes that their hosp data may be a mess but is emphatic that their deaths are totally accurate. Can you really have one without the other? If you incentivize testing, it’ll get on death certificates,” she wrote on Twitter.

Smelkinson noted that families often push to have COVID-19 included on a certificate because they’ll be eligible for benefits from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, including funeral assistance.





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